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Win! U.S. Federal Court rules Keystone XL pipeline must have full environmental review

Maude Barlow speaks at a rally in Washington about stopping the Keystone XL pipeline.

A U.S. federal court has agreed that the Keystone XL pipeline, which was approved and fast-tracked by U.S. President Donald Trump, must undergo a full environmental assessment in Nebraska.

Environmental groups, including the Northern Plains Resource Council, Bold Alliance, Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Earth, Natural Resources Defense Council, and Sierra Club, filed the lawsuit contesting the lack of proper environmental review in 2017.

“Today’s ruling is a victory for clean water, climate, and communities that would be threatened by the Keystone XL pipeline,” said Sierra Club’s Doug Hayes. “This proposed project has been stalled for nearly a decade because it would be all risk and no reward, and despite the Trump administration’s efforts, they cannot force this dirty tar sands pipeline on the American people. It’s time for TransCanada to give up on their Keystone XL pipe dream.”

Council of Canadians Honorary Chairperson Maude Barlow echoed the group members’ hopeful words and said, “The fight to stop Keystone XL will never end. We in Canada stand in solidarity with the people of Nebraska as they protect their land, water and human rights.”

According to a media release issued by the U.S. groups,” the State Department had attempted to fast-track its environmental review of the pipeline’s new route in Nebraska. U.S. District Court Judge Brian Morris ruled that this sham review process was not legally sufficient.”

If built, Keystone XL would carry 830,000 barrels a day of bitumen from Canada’s tar sands – one of the world’s dirtiest energy sources – across water sources and wildlife habitats to Gulf Coast refineries.

The groups say the federal court decision “clouds the future for a pipeline that investors are already seriously questioning the need for. TransCanada has not yet announced a Final Investment Decision on whether to move forward and build Keystone XL should it receive all the necessary permits.”

The Council of Canadians congratulates the groups, local residents and Indigenous peoples involved in this important victory. We oppose broken pipeline plans that mean more greenhouse gas emissions that intensify the growing effects of climate change. We will continue to work with others to oppose the construction of this pipeline and to support a 100 per cent clean energy economy by 2050.