Trump administration defends Keystone XL pipeline in court

Court Alerts

Trump administration attorneys defended the disputed Keystone XL oil sands pipeline in federal court on Thursday against environmentalists and Native American groups that want to derail the project.

President Barack Obama rejected the 1,179-mile (1,800-kilometer) line proposed by TransCanada Corporation in 2015 because of its potential to exacerbate climate change.

President Donald Trump revived the project soon after taking office last year, citing its potential to create jobs and advance energy independence.

Environmentalists and Native American groups sued to stop the line and asked U.S. District Judge Brian Morris to halt the project. They and others, including landowners, are worried about spills that could foul groundwater and the pipeline's impacts to their property rights.

Morris did not immediately rule following a four-hour Thursday hearing in federal court in Great Falls.

U.S. government attorneys asserted that Trump's change in course from Obama's focus on climate change reflected a legitimate shift in policy, not an arbitrary rejection of previous studies of the project.

"While the importance of climate change was considered, the interests of energy security and economic development outweighed those concerns," the attorneys recently wrote.

Morris previously rejected a bid by the administration to dismiss the lawsuit on the grounds that Trump had constitutional authority over the pipeline as a matter of national security.

Keystone XL would cost an estimated $8 billion. It would begin in Alberta and transport up to 830,000 barrels a day of crude through Montana and South Dakota to Nebraska, where it would connect with lines to carry oil to Gulf Coast refineries.

Federal approval is required because the route crosses an international border.

TransCanada, based in Calgary, said in court submissions that the pipeline would operate safely and help reduce U.S. reliance on crude from the Middle East and other regions.

The project is facing a separate legal challenge in Nebraska, where landowners have filed a lawsuit challenging the Nebraska Public Service Commission's decision to approve a route through the state.

Related listings

  • Court clerk: Despite memo, staff not required to campaign

    Court clerk: Despite memo, staff not required to campaign

    Court Alerts 03/21/2018

    The clerk of court in one North Carolina county says she never meant to require any of her employees to work for her re-election even though that's what a leaked memo said.After the memo was published, Surry County Clerk of Court Teresa O'Dell told t...

  • Court: Idaho nuclear waste documents won't be made public

    Court: Idaho nuclear waste documents won't be made public

    Court Alerts 02/06/2018

    U.S. officials don't have to provide details about proposed shipments of extremely radioactive spent commercial nuclear fuel to the country's top government nuclear research laboratory in Idaho, a federal court has ruled.The ruling was a major setbac...

  • Samsung heir freed after appeal wins suspended jail term

    Samsung heir freed after appeal wins suspended jail term

    Court Alerts 02/04/2018

    Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong was freed Monday after a South Korean appeals court gave him a 2 ½-year suspended jail sentence for corruption in connection with a scandal that toppled the country's president.The Seoul High Court softened the origin...

Dedicated To Protecting The Best Interests of Your Business

If you need to craft an agreement between you and investors or business partners, it is prudent to have it reviewed by a business attorney before you sign anything. You may also want to have your vendor contracts, office leases, sales agreements, and other types of agreements looked over as well. From start-ups to established corporations, the Chicago business attorneys at the Roth Law Group have the know-how to help businesses keep legal trouble at bay.

Even if you try to play by all the rules, someone may see that you are successful and try bringing a legal claim against your business. In this instance you need a determined legal team to go against your detractors. Running a business is stressful enough without someone suing you. Leave it to professional lawyers who know business law and the Illinois court system. We are here to provide our clients with the attention and feel of a small law firm, while obtaining big law firm results.