Judge weighs renewed Keystone XL oil pipeline arguments

KNSS News
October 09, 2019 - 6:47 pm

A Montana judge must decide whether to once again block the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline or side with U.S. government attorneys who want him to uphold President Donald Trump's permit to cross the U.S.-Canada border.

U.S. District Judge Brian Morris hears arguments Wednesday by environmental groups seeking to halt the 1,184-mile pipeline and by government attorneys who say the presidential permit isn't subject to environmental laws.

Last year, Morris blocked construction after ruling officials had not fully considered oil spills and other environmental effects.

Trump signed the new permit in March, prompting the plaintiffs to accuse the president of trying to get around the judge's previous order.

A separate lawsuit by Native American tribes alleges Trump's approval did not take into consideration the potential damage to cultural sites.

Two tribal leaders resign from task force to protest pipeline

Two tribal leaders have resigned from a Montana task force in protest of the state attorney general's support of a proposed oil pipeline from Canada.

Montana Department of Justice spokesman John Barnes confirmed Wednesday Jestin Dupree of Fort Peck and Brandi King of Fort Belknap stepped down from the Missing Indigenous Persons Task Force.

State lawmakers created the 11-member task force to better report and find missing Native Americans, and they put the panel under Attorney General Tim Fox.

On Monday, Fox intervened in a lawsuit in support of constructing the Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta's tar sands.

Dupree wrote in a Facebook post that his tribe opposes the pipeline and Fox's intervention is a "slap in the face."

Barnes says the resignations are disappointing and officials will ask the tribal governments to recommend replacements.

 

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