Tribes file suit to reverse permit of Keystone XL pipeline

The Keystone XL pipeline has led to yet another lawsuit. The Rosebud Sioux Tribe and the Fort Belknap Indian Communityu and Gros Ventre, along with the Native American Rights Fund filed suit Monday against the Trump Administration over the permitting process for the pipeline.

The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana and accused the administration of violations of the law. The tribes want the court to declare the review process in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act, the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Historic Preservation act. They also want the government to rescind the issuance of the presidential permit.

In March 2017, the U.S. Department of State granted TransCanada’s application and issued a presidential permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline.  The tribes contend the decision reversed two previous administrative decisions, was done without any public comment or environmental analysis, and was completed only 56 days after TransCanada submitted its application.

“The reversal was no surprise. According to a 2015 report filed with the Federal Election Commission, then-candidate Trump held between $250,000 and $500,000 worth of stock in TransCanada Pipelines, Ltd.,” said NARF Staff Attorney Natalie Landreth. “President Trump permitted the Keystone XL pipeline because he wanted to. It was a political step, having nothing to do with what the law actually requires. NARF is honored to represent the Rosebud Sioux and Fort Belknap Tribes to fully enforce the laws and fight this illegal pipeline.”

The Rosebud Sioux Tribe is also known as Sicangu Oyate, and has almost 35,000 members, many who reside in the area to be crossed by the pipeline.

About Fort Belknap Indian Community: Fort Belknap Reservation is homeland to the Assiniboine (Nakoda) and Gros Ventre (Aaniiih) Tribes. The Fort Belknap Indian Community Council is the governing body of the 7,000 tribal citizens.