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].
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….