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techkenyot.com November 18, 2018


U.S. judge blocks TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline

09 November 2018, 01:56 | Edward Lowe

Montana Federal Judge Halts Keystone XL Pipeline

Federal Judge Halts Construction Of Keystone XL Pipeline

A United States judge has blocked the construction of a controversial oil pipeline from Canada to the US.

TransCanada Corp.'s long-troubled Keystone XL oil pipeline project hit another roadblock as a U.S. District Court in Montana ruled it must wait for a further environmental review.

He noted that the State Department denied the permit in 2015, relying on climate change information under the Obama administration, which the Trump administration simply dismissed.

The state department has now been ordered to do a more thorough review of the affect on issues like the climate.

Judge Morris is the latest jurist to block Mr. Trump's initiatives under administrative-law rule, claiming that his officials have cut corners in administrative processes to make political decisions.

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"The Trump administration tried to force this dirty pipeline project on the American people, but they can't ignore the threats it would pose to our clean water, our climate, and our communities", Mr Hayes added.

The ruling is a major victory for environmentalist groups that sued to stop the project and for the Native American tribes that have protested against it for years.

If built, it would transport around 830,000 barrels of crude oil per day from Alberta, Canada, and the Bakken Shale Formation in Montana to facilities near Steele City, Neb.

Mr Obama rejected the scheme in 2015 following a recommendation from the Environmental Protection Agency, citing concerns over it increasing USA dependence on fossil fuel.

Trump granted a permit that allowed energy firm TransCanada to build the controversial Keystone XL pipeline shortly after taking office.

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No immediate impact in oil markets is seen, as the pipeline isn't scheduled to come online for years regardless of the ruling.

What did the ruling say?

"The department's 2017 conclusory analysis that climate-related impacts from Keystone subsequently would prove inconsequential and its corresponding reliance on this conclusion as a centerpiece of its policy change required the department to provide a 'reasoned explanation, '" Judge Morris said.

"An agency cannot simply disregard contrary or inconvenient factual determinations that it made in the past, any more than it can ignore inconvenient facts when it writes on a blank slate", Morris wrote.

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