A year and a half after President Donald Trump reversed an Obama administration decision to block TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline, a federal district judge in Montana has halted the project again, citing an insufficient review of the project's environmental impact.
In his ruling, Judge Brian Morris said “the Trump administration completely disregarded the climate effects of building the Keystone pipeline,” according to Vermont law professor Pat Parenteau.
“The Trump administration dismissed, with barely a paragraph in the decision document they issued, the whole idea that the pipeline would be contributing to climate change and the judge said that's not good enough,” Parenteau explains.
Morris is a former justice on the Montana Supreme Court and is considered a “very moderate judge,” Parenteau adds.
There are some judges on the federal bench who are more pro-environment ..., but Judge Morris isn’t in that same category.”.
Related: The Keystone XL pipeline gets a victory, but with a question mark.
Along with changing economics and the project's effect on climate change, the plaintiffs and the judge cited other issues, such as the risk of spills and damage to cultural resources. »