Description: Challenge to federal actions authorizing the Keystone XL pipeline project.
Indigenous Environmental Network v. U.S. Bureau of Land Management
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 12/04/2020 Complaint Download Complaint filed. New Lawsuit Challenging Keystone XL Project Cited Continuing Failure to Fully Assess Climate Impacts. A new lawsuit filed in the federal district court for the District of Montana challenged federal authorizations for the Keystone XL Pipeline Project, alleging that the federal defendants “are still attempting to resurrect and construct” Keystone despite the project’s “continuing illegality and profound environmental impacts, particularly its exacerbation of the global warming crisis.” The complaint asserted claims under NEPA, the Endangered Species Act, the Administrative Procedure Act, the Mineral Leasing Act, and the Federal Land Policy Management Act. The acts challenged included the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ adoption of a finding of no significant impact in conjunction with approval of reissuance of Nationwide Permit 12 under the Clean Water Act; President Trump’s claim that Executive Order 13,867 retroactively validated the “unilaterally and unconstitutionally approved” 2019 presidential permit; the 2019 final supplemental environmental impact statement (FSEIS) issued by the U.S. Department of State; the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s reliance on an inadequate Biological Assessment; and BLM’s issuance of a record of decision approving a right-of-way and temporary use permit based on the inadequate 2019 FSEIS. With respect to climate change, the complaint alleged that the 2019 FSEIS did not take a hard look at the project’s greenhouse gas and climate change emissions, including the “cumulative worsening” of the project’s annual greenhouse gas emissions. It asserted that the complaint “also impermissibly downplays the likely impacts that climate change will have on the Project, should it be built,” including impacts of severe weather on its operation and risk that the project could become a “stranded asset as climate change undermines and ultimately eliminates the market for Canadian tar sands altogether.”