More Groups Fight President’s Approval of Keystone XL Pipeline

Updating the legal fight over the Keystone XL pipeline, opponents have gone to the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana in a move to fight the Trump administration’s claim its approval of the pipeline is unreviewable in court.

Two coalitions of environmental and tribal advocacy groups, the Indigenous Environmental Network and North Coast Rivers Alliance say the President’s approval of the oil pipeline in March is subject to judicial review. They also say actions by the State Department can be questioned in court under the Administrative Procedure Act.

In their challenge, the groups say President Trump gave up decision-making authority when he issued a memorandum in January directing the State Department to review TransCanada Corp.’ application for the pipeline.

It’s the second challenge made in Montana to the pipeline. Last week, the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council filed a brief and also claimed the President has no power to exempt agencies from environmental laws.

The government has responded to both filings and a hearing will be held Aug. 31 in Great Falls, Montana on its move to dismiss the two cases. Obama appointee, Judge Brian Morris will hear the case.