Tuesday, July 7, 2020  
 
 
Printable Page Headline News   Return to Menu - Page 1 2 3 5 6 7 8 13
 
 
SCOTUS Helps Pipelines, Except Keystone07/07 06:34

   The U.S. Supreme Court handed another setback to the Keystone XL oil sands 
pipeline from Canada on Monday by keeping in place a lower court ruling that 
blocked a key environmental permit for the project. Monday's Supreme Court 
order also put on hold an earlier court ruling out of Montana as it pertains to 
other oil and gas pipelines across the nation.

   BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) -- The U.S. Supreme Court handed another setback to the 
Keystone XL oil sands pipeline from Canada on Monday by keeping in place a 
lower court ruling that blocked a key environmental permit for the project.

   Canadian company TC Energy needs the permit to continue building the 
long-disputed pipeline across U.S. rivers and streams. Without it, the project 
that has been heavily promoted by President Donald Trump faces more delay just 
as work on it had finally begun this year following years of courtroom battles.

   Monday's Supreme Court order also put on hold an earlier court ruling out of 
Montana as it pertains to other oil and gas pipelines across the nation.

   That's a sliver of good news for an industry that just suffered two other 
blows -- Sunday's cancellation of the $8 billion Atlantic Coast gas pipeline in 
the Southeast and a Monday ruling that shut down the Dakota Access oil pipeline 
in North Dakota.

   In the Keystone case, an April ruling from U.S. District Judge Brian Morris 
in Montana had threatened to delay not just Keystone but more than 70 pipeline 
projects across the U.S., and add as much as $2 billion in costs, according to 
industry representatives.

   Morris agreed with environmentalists who contended a U.S. Army Corps of 
Engineers construction permit program was allowing companies to skirt 
responsibility for damage done to water bodies.

   But the Trump administration and industry attorneys argued the permit, in 
place since the 1970s, was functioning properly when it was cancelled by Morris 
over concerns about endangered species being harmed during pipeline 
construction.

   Monday's one-paragraph order did not provide any rationale for the high 
court's decision.

   The corps suspended the program following Morris' April ruling. Agency 
officials could not be immediately reached for comment.

   TC Energy spokesman Terry Cunha said the company is not giving up on 
Keystone, but it will have to delay large portions of the 1,200-mile 
(1,900-kilometer) oil sands pipeline. The company started construction last 
week on a 329-mile (530-kilometer) section of the line in Alberta. That work 
will continue while the company wages its court fight in the U.S., Cunha said.

   An attorney for one of the environmental groups involved in the case called 
Monday's order a major victory in the fight against Keystone. But he 
acknowledged the plaintiffs had hoped to hamper oil and gas projects nationwide.

   "Our focus was originally on Keystone, so we're very happy the court order 
ensures it can't move forward under this unlawful permit," said Jared Margolis, 
an attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity.

   Pipeline industry representatives said the order means thousands of workers 
whose jobs were threatened can continue working. A coalition of 18 states had 
backed the Trump administration in the case.

   West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said the Supreme Court's 
action "ensures that one Montana district court judge doesn't possess the power 
to drive national policy on such a critical issue."

   The order returns the case to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals for 
further consideration.

   Keystone was proposed in 2008 and would carry up to 830,000 barrels (35 
million gallons) of crude daily to Nebraska, where it would be transferred to 
another TC Energy pipeline for shipment to refineries and export terminals on 
the Gulf of Mexico.

   It was rejected twice under the Obama administration because of concerns 
that it could worsen climate change. Trump revived it and has been an outspoken 
proponent of the $8 billion project.

   TC Energy's surprise March 31 announcement that it intended to start 
construction amid a global economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic 
came after the provincial government in Alberta invested $1.1 billion to 
jump-start the work.

   The company finished building the first piece of Keystone XL across the U.S. 
border in late May and started work on labor camps in Montana and South Dakota.

 
 
Copyright DTN. All rights reserved. Disclaimer.
Powered By DTN