Environmental review ordered for Keystone XL


Associated Press

WASHINGTON

In a setback for the Trump administration, a federal judge has blocked a permit for construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada and ordered officials to conduct a new environmental review.

Environmentalists and tribal groups cheered the ruling by a U.S. district judge in Montana, while President Donald Trump called it “a political decision” and “a disgrace.”

The 1,184-mile pipeline would begin in Alberta and shuttle as much as 830,000 barrels a day of crude through a half-dozen states to terminals on the Gulf Coast.

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 Trump administration has not said whether it would appeal the new ruling. The State Department said it was reviewing the decision but declined further comment, citing ongoing litigation.

The pipeline was first proposed by Calgary-based TransCanada in 2008. It has become the focal point of a decade-long dispute that pits Democrats, environmental groups and Native American tribes who warn of pollution and increased greenhouse gas emissions against business groups and Republicans who cheer the project’s jobs and potential energy production.

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