Judges remove remaining barrier to Keystone XL construction

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Judges remove remaining barrier to Keystone XL construction
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A 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel nullified a key barrier to the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, arguing that it no longer applies after the Trump administration replaced a permit earlier this year.

The court ruled Thursday night in favor of the Trump administration and TransCanada Corporation’s motion to dismiss.

The ruling sided with arguments that the old permit for the pipeline, which was replaced by the Trump administration in March, is no longer valid and therefore the injunction associated with it also no longer applies.

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The action hands a victory to the Trump administration, which has long fought to finish construction of the international pipeline. It also opens up the door to restarting construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which was halted in courts in the fall in part due to failure to properly account for the cumulative impacts of greenhouse gases from the construction.

Trump in May signed a presidential permit as a way to jump-start the delayed construction of the 1,179-mile pipeline. The order superseded a March 2017 order.

“For the avoidance of doubt, I hereby revoke that March 23, 2017, permit,” Trump wrote in the order.

A White House spokesperson told The Hill at the time that the new permit “dispels any uncertainty.”

“Specifically, this permit reinforces, as should have been clear all along, that the Presidential Permit is indeed an exercise of Presidential authority — that is not subject to judicial review under the Administrative Procedure Act,” the spokesperson said.

The pipeline has been a lightning rod in national energy policy for much of a decade since its proposal by TransCanada.

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