Description: Challenge to Trump administration approval of a presidential permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.
Indigenous Environmental Network v. United States Department of State
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 06/09/2017 Memorandum Download Memorandum filed in support of motion to dismiss. Federal Government Moved to Dismiss Keystone Pipeline Challenge. The federal government filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the presidential permit for Keystone XL pipeline. The federal government argued that the court lacked jurisdiction to review issuance of a presidential permit. In addition, the government argued that the plaintiffs lacked standing to make their Endangered Species Act (ESA) claim as well as claims under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) and the Bald Eagle and Golden Eagle Protection Act (Eagle Act). The government also asserted that the MBTA and Eagle Act claims were barred by controlling precedent. 03/27/2017 Complaint Download Complaint filed. Challenge to Keystone XL Pipeline Filed in Montana Federal Court. Two groups representing indigenous peoples and conservation interests filed a lawsuit in the federal district court for the District of Montana to challenge the U.S. Department of State’s issuance of a presidential permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline. The approval of the cross-border permit superseded Secretary of State John Kerry’s denial of the permit in November 2015. The Obama administration had determined that the project was not in the national interest, citing climate change as well as other environmental and health impacts. The groups alleged that the pipeline project “would pose grave risks to the environment, including the climate, water resources and wildlife, and to human health and safety” and would violate the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. Alleged shortcomings in the environmental review for the permit included narrowing the project’s purpose and need to “unduly constrain the available options to those that are preemptively locked into fossil fuel dependence”; failure to “consider the feasible and environmentally beneficial alternatives of adopting aggressive renewable energy and energy efficiency measures to obviate the claimed need for more crude oil”; and failure to adequately disclose climate impacts. The complaint also alleged that the supplemental environmental impact statement was prepared by a consulting firm with an illegal conflict of interest.