Judge halts Keystone pipeline project
WASHINGTON – A federal judge in Montana halted the progress of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline Thursday over concerns the Trump administration did not properly consider its impact on climate change and on vulnerable animal species on the brink of extinction.
President Trump called the action a “disgrace” and a “political decision” in comments to reporters before departing for his trip to Europe.
The action marks a setback for what had become a signature energy achievement for Trump, who has touted his speedy approval of the pipeline almost immediately upon taking office in January 2017.
That speedy approval of a cross-border permit by the State Department, however, did not meet the standards of the National Environmental Policy Act and the Endangered Species Act, according to U.S. District Court Judge Brian Morris.
The judge found the environmental reviews were deficient in their analysis of the project’s effect on greenhouse gas emissions and endangered species, among other areas.