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Obama-Appointed Federal Judge to Trump: I'm Temporarily Blocking The Keystone Pipeline's Construction

The Keystone Pipeline is on hold. Yes, amidst the vote counting controversy in Florida, what better time for a story like this to drop. A federal judge says that the Trump administration has to go back to review the impacts the project will have on climate change and the surrounding environments. The 1,200-mile Canada-U.S. project was successfully held up by the Obama administration, but the Trump White House made building the pipeline a top priority. Permits for the project were approved in March of 2017. Environmentalists descended into North Dakota, where the protesters ironically left heaps of waste everywhere that threatened to contaminate waterways. For now, the environmental Left has clinched a win, albeit a temporary one (via WaPo):

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A federal judge temporarily blocked construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, ruling late Thursday that the Trump administration had failed to justify its decision granting a permit for the 1,200-mile long project designed to connect Canada’s tar sands crude oil with refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast.

It was a major defeat for President Trump and the oil industry, who scorned the Obama administration for failing to move ahead in the face of protests based largely on environmental concerns. Trump signed an executive order two days into his presidency setting in motion a course reversal, saying the move showed how he would overcome environmental roadblocks to spur job and infrastructure development in the U.S.

The decision, issued by Judge Brian Morris of the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana, does not permanently block a permit but requires the administration to conduct a more complete review of potential adverse impacts related to climate change, cultural resources and endangered species.

“Today’s ruling makes it clear once and for all that it’s time for TransCanada to give up on their Keystone XL pipe dream,” said Sierra Club Senior Attorney Doug Hayes in a statement. “The Trump administration tried to force this dirty pipeline project on the American people, but they can’t ignore the threats it would pose to our clean water, our climate, and our communities.”

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So, the courts have stymied the Trump administration on its national security and immigration priorities, which are well within the president’s purview. It looks like they’re going to try to hit the brakes on his economic action items as well. At least we know that Trump loves a good fight.

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UPDATE: Well, figures...

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