Federal judge blocks Keystone XL pipeline

Federal Judge Halts Construction Of Keystone XL Pipeline

He also said he expected an appeal and that his administration would soon appoint new judges to the appeals court.

Trump has touted the $8 billion pipeline as part of his pledge to achieve North American "energy dominance" and has contrasted his administration's quick approval of the project with years of delay under President Barack Obama.

The major oil pipeline proposed by Calgary-based TransCanada Corp. would link Alberta's oilsands to refineries and overseas markets on the Texas Gulf Coast.

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. He said it would create jobs and spur development of infrastructure.

The massive project remains one of the most controversial infrastructure proposals in modern American history.

Morris had ruled in August that the State Department had to reach a conclusion on the environmental impacts of the pipeline, but determined Thursday that the department's analysis had left out information he considered to be crucial.

TransCanada said in a statement to BNN Bloomberg that the company is reviewing the USA judge's ruling on Keystone XL. "We have said our preference would be Canadian pipelines to Canadian tidewater, but at the same time this absolutely represents a number of jobs, we're fairly intertwined with the USA and Houston area, the refineries there".

"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", said the Sierra Club, one of the environmental groups involved in the lawsuit. There's simply no excuse for approving this awful project.

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The decision to deny the pipeline permit came after the completion of a long-awaited final environmental impact statement - 11 volumes of analysis released in 2014.

The court's ruling comes a little more than a month after TransCanada said that construction of the pipeline could begin as soon as next year. "The department would have evaluated the spills in the 2014 [environmental review] had the information been available", Judge Morris wrote.

TransCanada said in a statement that it was reviewing the judge's 54-page decision.

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.

Stephan Volker, an attorney for the complainants', called Morris' ruling "a landmark".

Asked how'd she react if the case ultimately wound up before the US Supreme Court, Carmen told host John Kiriakou that she doesn't exactly have a lot of faith in the highest court, "especially stacked as it is right now".

That environmental impact review was ordered by the same Montana judge, Brian Morris, who now ruled for another review, suspending all work on the project.

A shortage of export pipeline space to carry away growing oil production in Alberta has been blamed for recent steep discounts in prices for Canadian oil as compared to New York-traded benchmark oil.

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