Environmental groups sue Trump administration for approving Keystone pipeline

© Reuters. Trump announces Keystone XL pipeline in Washington

By Valerie Volcovici

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Several environmental groups filed lawsuits against the Trump administration on Thursday to challenge its decision to approve the construction of TransCanada Corp’s controversial Keystone XL pipeline.

In two separate filings in federal court in Montana, environmental groups argued that the US State Department, which granted the necessary permission for the pipeline to cross the Canadian border, relied on an “outdated environmental impact statement and incomplete “when you made your decision earlier this month.

By approving the pipeline without public participation and an updated environmental assessment, the administration violated the National Environmental Policy Act, groups such as the Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club, and the Plains Resource Council said in their legal filing. North.

“They have been based on an arbitrary, outdated and incomplete environmental review completed more than three years ago, for a process that ended with the denial of the cross-border permit by the State Department,” the court file says.

In the other presentation, the Indigenous Environmental Network and the Alianza de los Ríos de la Costa Norte requested precautionary measures, preventing Transcanada from taking any action that could damage the “physical environment in relation to the project pending a full hearing on the merits “.

US President Donald Trump announced the presidential permit for the Keystone XL at the White House last week. TransCanada CEO Russ Girling and Sean McGarvey, president of the North American Construction Unions, were nearby.

Trump, a Republican, said the bill would lower consumer fuel prices, create jobs and reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil.

His Democratic predecessor, former President Barack Obama, rejected the pipeline, saying it would lead to an increase in greenhouse gas emissions and would do nothing to lower fuel prices for American motorists.

“This oil sands pipeline poses a direct threat to our climate, our clean water, wildlife and thousands of homeowners and communities along the route of this dirty and dangerous project, and it must and will be stopped,” said Michael Brune , Executive Director. the Sierra Club, one of the groups that filed the lawsuit.

The lawsuits came on the heels of a lawsuit filed Wednesday that challenges other recent moves to undo Obama’s regulations on climate change.

Conservation groups and the Cheyenne Native American tribe of northern Montana sued the administration Wednesday for violating the National Environmental Policy Act when it lifted a moratorium on coal leases on federal land.

All lawsuits have been filed in the US District Court in the Great Falls Division of Montana.

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