A federal judge in Montana has heard from Native American tribes and environmental groups asking to shut down work on the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to Nebraska.
The groups contend they fear the spread of coronavirus by workers and believe construction will damage the land.
After years of delays, the company is rushing ahead amid the pandemic to get part of the line built so it will be harder to stop, attorneys for the project’s opponents argued in a teleconference to decide if the construction should be halted.
They warned that plans to build construction camps housing up to 1,000 workers each pose a risk to tribes and rural communities that already struggle to provide basic health care services and would face challenges responding to coronavirus outbreaks.
The first U.S. segment of the 1,200-mile (1,900-kilometer) oil sands pipeline was installed by TC Energy this week across the Canada border in northern Montana. The fight over the line stretches back more than a decade after it became a lightning rod in the debate over fossil fuels’ contribution to climate change.
Source: Associated Press