Description: Challenge to cross-border pipeline that would bring oil from Canadian tar sands to the U.S.
Sierra Club v. Clinton
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 10/19/2010 Memorandum Opinion and Order Download Action dismissed with prejudice. A district court dismissed with prejudice a lawsuit brought by environmental groups against the United States seeking to halt construction of a pipeline extending from Alberta, Canada to Wisconsin. The court held that the EIS supported the need for the pipeline. In addition, the court held that the Canadian oil sands were being developed separately from the pipeline and, thus, there was an insufficient causal relationship between the pipeline and the oil sands such that the EIS was not deficient in its failure to consider the transboundary impacts of increased greenhouse gases caused by increased exploitation of the tar sands. 02/24/2010 Memorandum Opinion and Order Download Motion to dismiss granted in part and denied in part. The defendants moved to dismiss. The court denied the motion, holding that the EIS prepared by the State Department constituted a final agency action that was reviewable under the Administrative Procedure Act and that the allegations that the EIS did not sufficiently address indirect and cumulative impacts of the project on climate change were sufficient to withstand a motion to dismiss. 02/03/2010 Memorandum Opinion and Order Download Plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction denied. A coalition of environmental groups filed an amended complaint in the federal district court for the District of Minnesota (after their action was transferred from the Northern District of California) alleging that several federal agencies violated NEPA concerning the permitting of the Alberta Clipper Pipeline, which, when built, will run from Alberta, Canada to Wisconsin. The pipeline will transport heavy crude oil extracted from tar sands in Canada. Among other things, plaintiffs alleged that the State Department violated NEPA by issuing an environmental impact statement (EIS) did not address impacts of increased greenhouse gas emissions. The coalition moved for a preliminary injunction concerning the permitting of the Alberta Clipper Pipeline. The court denied the motion, holding that the EIS adequately addressed impacts concerning the possible effects of the pipeline on climate change and thus that plaintiffs did not show a substantial probability of success necessary to obtain a preliminary injunction.
Sierra Club v. United States Department of State
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 09/23/2009 Order Order issued granting defendant's motion to transfer venue and transferring action to District of Minnesota. On September 23, 2009, the district court ruled on a motion to transfer venue to Minnesota. The court granted the motion, holding that most of the plaintiffs did not reside in California, the decisions were made outside of California and the district had little interest in the subject matter. The court held that the majority of activities underlying the lawsuit took place in Minnesota. 09/03/2009 Complaint Complaint filed. Sierra Club and other groups filed a lawsuit seeking to stop construction of a cross-border pipeline that would bring large volumes of oil from Canadian tar sands into the United States for refining and marketing. The plaintiffs alleged that the State Department’s EIS did not adequately consider the environmental impact of tar sands production. According to the plaintiffs, such production accounts for three times the amount of GHGs as normal production.