Federal Judge Deals Setback to Keystone Pipeline

A federal judge in Montana has temporarily blocked construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, saying the Trump administration ignored the project’s effect on climate change.

Work on the long-disputed pipeline was to have begun next year but now is blocked by the judge’s ruling on Thursday, Nov. 8, until the federal government more fully reviews the pipeline’s environmental impact.

One of President Donald Trump’s first acts after taking office was to sign an executive order approving the pipeline, which had been halted by former President Barack Obama because of environmental concerns.

Environmental groups responded with a lawsuit, which was the basis for the ruling by Judge Brian Morris of the US District Court of Montana.

Morris’s ruling continues the long-running battle over the TransCanada Corp. pipeline from the Canadian oil sands to Nebraska. The US segment of the line would run 875 miles through Montana, South Dakota, and Nebraska. The rest of the 1,200-mile line is in Canada.

Pipeline opponents argued that the extraction of crude oil from oil sands would emit more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than standard crude oil extraction.

Native American groups also opposed the pipeline, saying it would cut across their sovereign lands.

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