Description: Challenge to Trump administration approval of a presidential permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.
Northern Plains Resource Council v. Shannon
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 07/10/2017 Opposition Download Opposition filed to motion to dismiss. 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. The government also argued that claims against the U.S. Bureau of Land Management should be dismissed because there was no final agency action and because the plaintiffs had not alleged standing for their claim under the ESA. 03/30/2017 Complaint Download Complaint filed. Challenge to Keystone XL Pipeline Filed in Montana Federal Court. Six local and national environmental groups 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 The approval of the cross-border permit superseded Secretary of State John Kerry’s denial of the permit in November 2015.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 contended that the environmental impact statement (EIS) completed in 2014 was “inadequate at that time” and was “now woefully out of date.” The complaint alleged that the Department of State had acknowledged that greenhouse gas emissions from the crude oil the pipeline would convey would be 5–20% higher than previously indicated but had denied the significance of this new information and concluded that the 2014 EIS still reflected expected impacts. Other alleged shortcomings in the environmental review included failure to analyze the combined greenhouse gas impacts of the Keystone XL and Alberta Clipper pipelines and failure to analyze viable clean energy alternatives. The complaint also alleged that the State Department had not discussed what impact the approval of the permit would have on global action to address climate change. The plaintiffs asserted that the State Department had arbitrarily reversed its position on whether the pipeline project was in the national interest. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Secretary of the Interior, and Department of the Interior were included as defendants on the grounds that BLM would soon grant rights-of-way for the pipeline in reliance on the inadequate 2014 EIS.