Keystone XL pipeline faces new legal roadblock

Keystone XL pipeline faces new legal roadblock

He said the decision also fell short in other areas, including the impact on Native American lands, and did not take into proper consideration issues like oil spills and low prices. It has become the focal point of a decade-long dispute that pits Democrats, environmental groups and Native American tribes who warn of pollution and increased greenhouse gas emissions against business groups and Republicans who cheer the project's jobs and potential energy production.

In August, Morris ruled that the State Department was obligated to "analyze new information relevant to the environmental impacts of its decision" to issue a permit for the pipeline past year.

The judge put the pipeline on hold until the State Department fully evaluates the environmental impact, including the project's impact on climate change, cultural resources, and potential for oil spills.

"These omissions require a remand with instructions to the Department to satisfy its obligations under NEPA", he wrote.

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The analysis of a cross-border project like this is done by the State Department.

Keystone XL roused a major environmental protest movement during Barack Obama's presidency, leading to arrests outside the White House and promises by activists to harass construction along the pipeline's route. Add Trump Administration as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Trump Administration news, video, and analysis from ABC News.

"The department failed to make a fact-based explanation for its course reversal, "let alone a reasoned explanation.'An agency cannot simply disregard contrary or inconvenient factual determinations that it made in the past, any more than it can ignore inconvenient facts'" in the present", he wrote, quoting judicial precedents.

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The pipeline was first proposed in 2o08.

TransCanada Corp's almost 1,200-mile pipeline has become one of the major battlegrounds in the climate change debate and, if completed, would carry an estimated 800,000 barrels per day from Canada's tar sands pits to Gulf Coast refineries in the US.

The US stretch of line that needs to be built would be 875 miles (1,450 km) long.

Four days after Trump was sworn into office, he invited TransCanada to resubmit its permit application.

Trump signed executive actions to again advance construction of the project in 2017.

"Today's ruling is a decisive moment in our fight against the corporate polluters who have rushed to destroy our planet", said Marcie Keever, legal director at Friends of the Earth in a news statement.

Also on Thursday, a federal appeals court ruled that President Trump can not immediately end the program, DACA, that shields from deportation young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the country as children. "The courts showed the Trump administration and their corporate polluter friends that they can not bully rural landowners, farmers, environmentalists, and Native communities".

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