July 9, 2021

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U.S. court rejects request to revive Keystone XL pipeline permit program

A U.S. appeals court docket on Thursday turned down the Trump administration’s request to revive a allow program for brand new oil and gasoline pipelines that originally originated with a problem by environmentalists to the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline.

The U.S. Military Corps of Engineers allowing program permits pipelines to be constructed throughout streams and wetlands with minimal evaluation in the event that they meet sure standards.

Environmental teams contend this system, often known as Nationwide Allow 12, leaves firms unaccountable for injury achieved to water our bodies throughout development.

“This is huge,” mentioned Jared Margolis with the Heart for Organic Range. “Hopefully this gives us a chance to put a pause on these major oil pipelines.”

Development on the Keystone XL pipeline was lastly supposed to begin this spring following a serious funding by the Alberta government

The choice from the U.S. appeals court docket is the newest installment within the battle over the pipeline. Final week, presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden promised to scrap the Keystone XL pipeline if he is elected U.S. president in November.

Military Corps spokesman Doug Garman mentioned the company was not commenting as a result of the matter remains to be in litigation.

Failure to seek the advice of with wildlife companies

Authorities attorneys, backed by 19 states and quite a few business teams, had argued the cancellation would delay development of pipelines used to ship gas to energy vegetation and different locations.

U.S. District Choose Brian Morris in Montana mentioned in a pair of latest rulings within the Keystone case that Military Corps officers had didn’t adequately seek the advice of with wildlife companies earlier than reauthorizing the allowing program in 2017. Its continued use may trigger critical hurt to protected species and significant wildlife habitat, he mentioned.

A two-judge panel of the ninth U.S. Circuit Courtroom of Appeals denied an emergency request to dam Morris’ ruling. They mentioned in a one-page resolution that the federal government, states and business teams had not demonstrated adequate hurt to justify reviving this system whereas the case remains to be pending.

The difficulty may take months to resolve barring additional court docket intervention.

Within the absence of the nationwide allow, firms must apply for quite a few particular person development permits on strains that generally cross lots of of water our bodies. That might trigger delays of a yr or extra on greater than 70 pending pipelines, mentioned Paul Afonso, chief authorized officer for the American Petroleum Institute.

“It is completely inappropriate that the district court has singled out natural gas and oil companies to cut out of a long- established regulatory process,” he mentioned.

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