Ninth Court of Appeals Throws Out Case Blocking Keystone XL Pipeline

Construction of the Keystone XL pipeline can commence.

Published June 7, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO — On Thursday, June 6, 2019, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the appeals filed by TC Energy (formerly TransCanada Corporation) and the U.S. Government and other parties in litigation challenging the original Presidential Permit issued for the Keystone XL Pipeline in March 2017 because that permit was revoked by President Trump following repeated court rulings that it was unlawful on multiple grounds.

Although President Trump issued a new Presidential Permit on March 29, 2019, that second permit was promptly challenged in what all plaintiffs believe is an even stronger lawsuit. On Friday, April 5, 2019, the lead Plaintiffs in the original litigation that halted the Keystone XL (KXL) Pipeline – the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) and North Coast Rivers Alliance (NCRA) – filed a second lawsuit in Montana Federal Court challenging President Trump’s decision on March 29, 2019 to approve a second Presidential Permit reapproving the KXL Pipeline without conducting the additional environmental reviews that the federal courts have previously ordered.

American Indians and environmental groups have long held that the Keystone XL Pipeline would pose grave risks to the environment, including the climate, cultural resources, water resources, fish and wildlife, and human health and safety.

Even though the judges ruled in the favor of TC Energy, the company says it is too late to begin construction this year. Groups opposing the pipeline vow to keep fighting with other legal actions.

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