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SCOTUS Saves West River from Keystone XL, Maybe for Good

TransCanada/TC Energy’s coronavirus-spreading, woman-endangering man camps will have to wait another year. The United States Supreme Court said Monday that several other pipeline projects may proceed but that Keystone XL has to wait for additional environmental review:

A federal judge in May sided with environmental groups, requiring that new oil and gas pipelines must undergo a lengthy permitting and regulation process in order to build across bodies of water.

That judge’s ruling canceled the so-called “Nationwide Permit 12” for several new pipelines, which authorized and fast-tracked work on pipelines that run across bodies of water. That ruling stated that the Army Corps of Engineers did not adequately consider the projects’ environmental impact on endangered species. The ruling required the projects that received such a permit to stop construction while the environmental impact study was completed.

The Supreme Court on Monday invalidated that lower court ruling in part, allowing many projects to go ahead while the environmental reviews are done, but excluded the Keystone XL. The Keystone XL pipeline must still abide by the arduous environmental review process, the justices ruled [Jamie Ehrlich, “Supreme Court Deals Major Blow to Keystone XL Project,” CNN, 2020.07.06].

Briefs are due in the appeal in September; if the courts take until next January 20 to resolve the question, Keystone XL will be dead again:

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden recently reiterated his desire to stop the Keystone XL oil pipeline project. “I’ve been against Keystone from the beginning. It is tarsands that we don’t need — that in fact is a very, very high pollutant,” he said.

This is just the latest move in a long political game with respect to Keystone XL. In 2015, Vice-President Biden supported President Barack Obama’s decision to block the pipeline. After the 2017 election, President Donald Trump restored the project. If completed, the 1,900-kilometre pipeline would carry crude oil from Alberta to Nebraska, ultimately feeding refineries on the Gulf Coast.

Now Biden says he would shut it down again if he’s elected president in November. Canadians need to know that he is really making three arguments against the project, which may require Canada to re-examine its energy sector strategy [Warren Mabee, “Biden, Keystone XL, and a Green New Deal Could Shake Up Canada’s Energy Industry,” The Conversation, 2020.05.27].

No rush, judges. Take your time….


  1. mike from iowa 2020-07-08 09:14

    Covid checklist…

    Wingnut pols- check

    Clewless- check

    Likely to get re-elected- half check

  2. jerry 2020-07-09 14:57

    Eastern Oklahoma is now Indian Country as always. This is a big ______ing deal.

    “The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that a huge swath of Oklahoma is Native American land for certain purposes, siding with a Native American man who had challenged his rape conviction by state authorities in the territory.

    The 5-4 decision, with an opinion authored by Justice Neil Gorsuch, endorsed the claim of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation to the land, which encompasses 3 million acres in eastern Oklahoma, including most of the city of Tulsa.

    The decision means that only federal authorities, no longer state prosecutors, can lodge charges against Native Americans who commit serious alleged crimes on that land, which is home to 1.8 million people. Of those people, 15% or fewer are Native Americans.”

    You make the deal and you keep the deal…According to Article 6, Clause 2 of the Constitution.

  3. mike from iowa 2020-07-09 16:33

    Gosuck on Gubmint promises.

    On the far end of the Trail of Tears was a promise,” Gorsuch wrote. “Forced to leave their ancestral homes in Georgia and Alabama, the Creek Nation received assurances that their new lands in the West would be secure forever… Because Congress has not said otherwise, we hold the government to its word.”

    Looks like the Sioux Nation and others should be given back the Black Hills if the government honors its promises.

  4. jerry 2020-07-09 16:55

    That is exactly true mfi, and that’s what scares the hell out of the folks that stole it in the first place. That is why a loser like GNOem gets elected. Most of this treaty land in West River is government owned and leased to those who think that they own it. They pay very little to pasture their livestock and want to keep it that way.

  5. grudznick 2020-07-09 21:01

    Is Dinosaur Park considered west river gobbermint land? grudznick is just asking…

  6. mike from iowa 2020-07-26 13:49

    drumpf just signed the entirety of Bristol Bay and its largest wild salmon runs to a certain death when he allowed the Pebble Mine permitting process to move forward.

    The mine wants to dig down three hundred feet to bedrock and store billions of gallons of tainted waste wAter behind 700 feet high earthen berms in an active seismic zone. Then, they claim, they can return the area to its present pristine state after more than fifty years of decimated salmon runs.

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