USA judge blocks construction of $10-billion Keystone XL pipeline

10 November, 2018, 08:59 | Author: Rosalie Gross
  • Federal Judge Halts Construction Of Keystone XL Pipeline

A federal judge in Montana issued a "landmark" ruling temporarily blocking construction on the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline Thursday in a decision welcomed by environmental groups.

"This is a complete repudiation of the Trump administration's attempts to evade environmental laws and prioritize oil company profits over clean water and wildlife", Jared Margolis, senior attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity, said in astatement.

In doing so the administration overturned a ruling by then president Barack Obama in 2015 that denied a permit for the pipeline, largely on environmental grounds, in particular the U.S. contribution to climate change.

Analysts say the decision could cause a delay of up to one year for Keystone XL, which was first proposed 10 years ago. The Trump administration claimed, with no supporting information, that those impacts "would prove inconsequential".

Becky Mitchell, chairwoman of the Northern Plains Resource Council, a plaintiff in the Montana legal action against Keystone XL, said her environmental organization is thrilled with the ruling. "TransCanada does not have an approved pipeline at this point".

Obama appointed Morris, the judge who made the ruling.

On Friday, President Trump called the judge's ruling "a political decision".

TransCanada would likely provide more information on how it will deal with Thursday's court ruling at its investor day presentation next week, according to Chris Cox, analyst at Raymond James. No immediate comment came from the administration after the pipeline order.

"An important dynamic here is whether the company remains committed to pursuing the project in light of ongoing regulatory delays, especially as we believe there is a strong desire to substantially complete the project before the next USA presidential election", Cox said.

It's meant to be an extension of TransCanada's existing Keystone Pipeline, which was completed in 2013.

The 830,000 bpd pipeline will run from the Albertan oil sands through Montana and South Dakota, ending in Nebraska, where it would connect to the existing pipeline network that goes on to the Gulf Coast.

The proposed US portion of the pipeline would run about 875 miles through Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska.

It met sustained opposition from environmental advocacy groups, as well as from Obama, who anxious about the contribution it would make toward climate change.

But it has been the subject of protests for more than a decade, both from environmentalists and Native American groups, who say it will cut through their sovereign lands.

Part of the reason behind the court's ruling was the Trump administration's willingness to ignore the pipeline's impact on climate change, which the Obama administration found "provided a significant basis for denying" the pipeline permit.

USA benchmark WTI little changed after the decision, trading down 0.1 percent. "And frankly, approving this project would have undercut that global leadership", he said.

Morris said, however, that there have indeed been changes since the 2014 assessment and that the Trump administration failed to consider them. She also drew attention to the embattled Trans Mountain pipeline expansion proposal to bring oilsands oil to tankers in Burnaby, B.C. Those could alter the overall impact of Keystone XL and should have been considered by the government.

The analysis of a cross-border project like this is done by the State Department. It "ignored its duty to take a "hard look" at these two connected actions". He ordered the department to complete a full review. "The Department appears to have jumped the gun".

"An agency can not simply disregard contrary or inconvenient factual determinations that it made in the past", Judge Morris said in his ruling.

In an email to National Observer, Adams also said that the project would support "good, middle-class jobs in Canada" and boost exports, while fitting in with a climate change plan proposed by the Alberta government.



Kylie Jenner worries about Southern California wildfires reaching her home
Kylie was not in California at the time as she was supporting boyfriend, Travis Scott , at his Astroworld tour in Baltimore, Maryland.

United States midterm elections: Republicans hold the Senate, Democrats secure House victory
In suburban areas where key House races were decided, voters skewed significantly toward Democrats by a almost 10-point margin. He played to his base, but his over-the-top rhetoric turned off so many people that Democrats managed to retake the House.

Geri Halliwell's Spice Girls Confession Just Spiced Up Our Lives
The first Q: Which Spice Girl was once sick in Mel B's mouth? Mel C said she had initially resisted reforming the group but had eventually relented.

Teen 'kills mum after arguing over bad school grade'
Chitwood said Ramos used his knowledge of crime scene analysis to disguise the scene where he had buried his mother's body. He called the suspect a "soulless individual", and probably one of the "top three sociopaths" he ever crossed paths with.

MTV Europe Music Awards Red Carpet
Dua Lipa arrives at the MTV Europe Music Awards in Bilbao, Spain , on Sunday. "Women, our voices will be heard, we will be heard". She added: "I stand with you". "That's always been my message and I talk about it a lot but I feel like it's a good message".

‘Post-Diwali, fireworks could propel air quality levels back to severe’
An IIT Kanpur professor said weather conditions were being monitored to become favourable for creating artificial rains. CPCB officials also said they were in talks with IIT, Kanpur, and IMD for inducing artificial rain after Diwali .

Women, and Especially Women of Color, Made History Last Night
The Democrat surged in the latter part of the year, polling neck and neck with Noem, but fell just short on Election Day. Idaho gubernatorial candidate Paulette Jordan also lost her race to become the country's first Native American governor.

DJ LeMahieu Wins Third MLB Gold Glove Award
This marks the fourth time in the last five seasons for Keuchel to be named the top defensive pitcher in the American League . With the win, Greinke ties Ron Guidry, Phil Niekro and Kenny Rogers for seventh all-time among pitchers to win the award.

Donald Trump’s Post-Midterm Behavior Is Out of Control, Even for Him
He also repeatedly told April Ryan to sit down in an incredibly condescending tone, like he's talking a misbehaving preschooler. Tuesday's USA midterm election resulted in Trump's Republicans strengthening their grip on the Senate.

Which color iPad Pro (2018) should you get
The latest iPad Pro probably doesn't offer performance gains that are significant enough to warrant throwing hundreds of dollars. The next storage size up is 256GB, which starts at $949 / £919 / AU$1,449, followed by 512GB for $1,149 / £1,119 / AU$1,749.