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Ninth Circuit rejects push from Trump Admin, Industry to allow construction of Keystone XL and other Oil and Gas Pipelines through waterways amid appeal

San Francisco, CA -- On May 29, 2020, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit left in place a district court decision blocking a key water crossing permit for Keystone XL and other oil and gas pipelines while a full appeal of the decision moves forward.

In April, the US District Court in Montana ruled that the Trump administration’s Army Corps of Engineers violated bedrock environmental law when it issued Nationwide Permit 12, vacating the permit for Keystone XL and prohibiting the Corps from using this fast-tracked approval process for other pipeline projects. The Army Corps had pushed to allow approval for pipeline construction to continue during its appeal of the ruling in the Ninth Circuit, but construction of Keystone XL and other major pipelines through rivers, streams, and wetlands will remain on hold as that appeal is heard.

TC Energy also faces additional roadblocks to completing Keystone XL including other ongoing legal challenges, oil market chaos, and a recent commitment by presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden to rescind the pipeline’s permit should he be elected president.

“The Keystone XL pipeline threatens our water, climate, and the rural and tribal communities who depend on these irreplaceable resources,” said Dena Hoff, a Northern Plains member and Glendive, MT rancher. “We are glad the court is not allowing construction to proceed over so many of these vulnerable waterways given KXL’s Canadian owners have never proven they can meet legal standards for this dangerous pipeline.”

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