Opponents of TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline from indigenous and environmental groups to local farmers and ranchers celebrated a win in court after a federal judge ruled on Friday that the fossil fuel giant cannot conduct pre-construction work on the pipeline until the full environmental review ordered last month is complete.
Oserved Sierra Club senior attorney Doug Hayes said that “Somehow TransCanada still hasn’t gotten the message that Keystone XL is a lost cause. We’ve held off construction of this dirty tar sands pipeline for a decade because it would be a bad deal for the American people, and [Friday’s] ruling is yet another reminder that it will never be built.”
The ruling from US District Court Judge Brian Morris of Great Falls, Montana followed a November decision which found that the Trump administration ignored “prior factual findings related to climate change” and relied on “outdated information” regarding Keystone XL’s threat to endangered species, tribal lands, and regional water resources when issuing a permit for the pipeline.
In a move denounced as “corporate bulling at its worst” by Friends of the Earth legal director Marcie Keever, TransCanada had sought permission to conduct pre-construction work. Morris ruled that Calgary-based company may continue activities such as security efforts and conducting surveys needed to revise the environmental review, but barred all field activities along the proposed route.
Bold Alliance president Jane Kleeb said that “Farmers and ranchers thank the judge for seeing through TransCanada’s transparent power grab. We want our property rights and water protected, yet all the Trump administration cares about is aiding a foreign oil corporation.”
Calling the judge’s latest decision “one more victory for the rule of law over this reckless and risky project,” Natural Resource Defense Council senior attorney Jackie Prange said: “Keystone XL cannot be built unless and until the Trump administration complies with the law. So far, we’ve seen no indication that it plans to do so.”
Source : TRUTH OUT
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