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Federal judge’s ruling delays Keystone XL pipeline

Federal judge’s ruling delays Keystone XL pipeline”

The judge barred both TransCanada and the U.S. from "from engaging in any activity in furtherance of the construction or operation of Keystone and associated facilities" until the U.S. State Department completes a supplemental review.

Then came policy shifts in the Trump administration.

The announcement followed an environmental impact review from the U.S. State Department, which concluded the pipeline's impact on the environment would be "negligible to moderate".

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.

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A federal judge blocked construction on the Keystone XL pipeline on Thursday.

Native tribes protest US President Donald Trump's decision to revive the Dakota Access project, and the Keystone XL pipeline.

TransCanada Corp.'s long-troubled Keystone XL oil pipeline project hit another roadblock as a U.S. District Court in Montana ruled it must wait for a further environmental review.

The same environmental analysis that the department carried out before denying the permit in 2015 was ignored when the department turned around previous year and approved it, the judge argued.

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"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", Doug Hayes, a lawyer for the Sierra Club environmental group, said in a statement as cited by CNBC.

Environmentalists called the ruling a "major setback" for the pipeline project. "We remain committed to building this important energy infrastructure project", TransCanada spokesman Terry Cunha said. In the USA, the pipeline would stretch 875 miles through Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska, with the rest continuing into Canada. "It was a political decision made by a judge".

As The Post's Steven Mufson reported, activists say the pipeline would be especially damaging to the climate because it would mean extracting thick, low-quality oil from Canada's oil sands, with lots of tree-cutting and energy consumption in the process which would increase greenhouse gas-emissions. He also accused the State Department of using "outdated information" about potential environmental impacts instead of "the best scientific and commercial data available". The government and TransCanada, the company behind the pipeline, are now legally barred from continuing construction on the pipeline until the Trump administration completes a supplemental document justifying the pipeline that satisfies the legal requirements.

The administration can appeal against the decision. "We will continue our prayers to take action to fight the Trump administration in defense of the sacred, to protect Indigenous rights, to defend our treaty territories, and to advocate for the continuation of the next seven generations of life on Mother Earth free from fossil fuels".

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