Saturday, March 10, 2018

Presidential authority at issue in Keystone Pipeline case to be heard in Great Falls

The $8 billion Keystone XL oil pipeline will be argued in federal court in Great Falls on Wednesday as the Trump administration pushes forward with a project killed by former President Barack Obama. Northern Plains Resource Council, Bold Alliance, Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Earth, Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. and Sierra Club filed a lawsuit against the government over its issuing of a permit for the project in March, following Trump’s November election win. They’re suing Thomas A. Shannon Jr., under secretary for political affairs for the State Department, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, arguing a permit for the pipeline was issued without sufficient environmental review in violation of federal laws. A motion by the government to dismiss the case will be heard before District Judge Brian M. Morris. “The main issue is whether or not the court has jurisdiction over this lawsuit,” said Doug Hayes, a senior attorney for the Sierra Club. Issuing a presidential permit for an international crossing is an exercise of the president’s authority over foreign affairs and national security and therefore can't be reviewed, the government’s court filings say...more

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