Federal judge blocks Keystone Pipeline XL in major blow to Trump administration, citing disregard of climate issues

By Fred Barbash and Allyson Chiu | The Washington Post

A federal judge temporarily blocked construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, ruling late Thursday that the Trump administration had failed to justify its decision granting a permit for the 1,200-mile long project designed to connect Canada’s tar sands crude with refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast.

It was a major defeat for President Donald Trump, who attacked the Obama administration for failing to move ahead in the face of protests based largely on environmental concerns. Trump signed an executive order two days into his presidency setting in motion a course reversal on the Keystone XL pipeline and the Dakota Access pipeline.

The decision, issued by Judge Brian Morris of the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana, does not permanently block a permit but requires the administration to conduct a more complete review of potential adverse impacts related to climate change, cultural resources and endangered species. It basically ordered a do-over.

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