Skip to main content

The Trump administration on Wednesday will approve a right-of-way allowing the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline to be built across U.S. land, federal officials told the Associated Press, pushing the controversial US$8-billion project closer to construction though court challenges still loom.

The approval covers about 72 kilometres of the line’s route across land in Montana controlled by the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said Casey Hammond, assistant secretary of the Interior Department.

The 1,930-km pipeline would transport up to 830,000 barrels of crude oil daily from Western Canada to terminals on the Gulf Coast. Project sponsor TC Energy Corp. has said it wants to begin construction of the long-delayed line this year, but that’s sure to face more legal challenges.

Story continues below advertisement

The 74-km stretch includes all federal land crossed by the line, Mr. Hammond said. Much of the rest of the route is across private land for which TC Energy has been assembling permission to build on.

Opponents worry burning the oil sands crude will make climate change worse, and that it could break and spill into waterways such as Montana’s Missouri River.

Calgary-based TC Energy first proposed the project more than a decade ago, but has been unable to get past numerous lawsuits. U.S. President Donald Trump has been a strong supporter and revived Keystone XL after the Obama administration rejected the project.

Mr. Hammond said Interior officials and other agencies have done a thorough review of the line’s potential effects on the environment. He said TC Energy had provided detailed plans to respond to any spill from the line.

“We’re comfortable with the analysis that’s been done,” Mr. Hammond said.

He said Interior Secretary David Bernhardt would sign the approval Wednesday.

A lawyer for environmental groups that have sued to overturn Mr. Trump’s permit for the line said they will ask the judge in the case to issue an order blocking Wednesday’s approval.

Story continues below advertisement

“We know President Trump’s permit was unconstitutional, and we have every confidence that the federal courts will set aside these approvals,” said Steve Volker, who represents the Indigenous Environmental Network.

U.S. District Justice Brian Morris in Montana initially denied a request from environmentalists to block construction in December because no work was immediately planned. But he also has ruled against the project, including a 2018 decision that stalled the line and prompted Mr. Trump to issue a new presidential permit for Keystone XL to cross the U.S.-Canada border.

In Nebraska, the state Supreme Court removed the last major obstacle for the project in August when it ruled in favour of state regulators who had approved a route for the pipeline in 2017.

The court upheld the Nebraska Public Service Commission’s 3-2 vote to allow construction, despite opponents’ arguments that the commission didn’t follow all of the procedures required by state law.

Your time is valuable. Have the Top Business Headlines newsletter conveniently delivered to your inbox in the morning or evening. Sign up today.

Report an error
Tickers mentioned in this story
Unchecking box will stop auto data updates
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to [email protected]. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to [email protected].

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to [email protected]. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to [email protected]. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies
魔域手游牛牛官方网站