Environmental groups challenge Keystone XL pipeline approval

Tammy Harvey
April 7, 2017

A coalition of environmental groups challenged the federal permit for the Keystone XL oil pipeline in court on Thursday because they say additional environmental scrutiny is needed.

TransCanada, a Calgary-based company, wants to build it to carry oil from Canada through Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska.

Environmental groups argued that the USA state department, which granted the permit required for the pipeline to cross the Canadian border, relied on an "outdated and incomplete environmental impact statement" when making its decision earlier this month.

U.S. Reps. Bill Shuster (R-PA), the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and Jeff Denham (R-CA), the chairman of the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials, said Keystone XL will put people to work "without spending a single taxpayer dollar".

TransCanada, the company that will build the pipeline, has said that USA materials will be used for roughly half of the American portion of the project. I congratulate President Trump on approving construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

"We've stopped the toxic Keystone XL Pipeline once, and we will do it again", Dallas Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network said in a statement, adding that the Trump administration should "expect far greater resistance than ever before".

"This dirty pipeline is a loaded gun pointed at our climate and some of America's most vital water supplies, and we won't let Trump pull the trigger", said KierĂ¡n Suckling, the Center's executive director. During his first week in office, President Trump signed a Presidential Memorandum to clear roadblocks and speed up the approval process for the pipeline.

A Mexican man who spent more than six weeks in immigration detention despite his participation in a program created to prevent the deportation of those brought to the US illegally as children has been released.

The cold facts about this project may explain why former President Barack Obama wavered so long before deciding to oppose it on the flimsy grounds that it would not reduce the cost of gas at the pump nor boost energy security.

The group claimed that potential tar sands oil spills are more risky than stated in the report. Environmental groups would do better to save their ammunition to fight more consequential changes the administration is expected to pursue, such as rolling back federal regulations to limit coal burning and methane emissions.

TransCanada needs approval from the commission before it can begin construction in Nebraska.

When completed, the Keystone XL will extend down from Canada, navigate to the southeast directly through Baker, Mont., and join the existing Keystone pipeline in Nebraska. When things become politicized, facts tend to be discounted, and the facts show that the pipeline project is simply not as important as either side has maintained.

Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club, said "The Keystone XL pipeline is nothing more than a dirty and risky proposal that's time has passed. We stand against eminent domain for private gain", said Ken Winston, attorney for Bold Alliance.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

Discuss This Article