(Mont)-Judge Halts Keystone XL For More Study
GREAT FALLS, Mt. (AP) - A federal judge in Montana has blocked construction of the $8 billion Keystone XL Pipeline to allow more time to study the project's potential environmental impact.
The order on Thursday from U.S. District Judge Brian Morris came as Calgary-based TransCanada was preparing to build the first stages of the oil pipeline in northern Montana.
Environmentalists and Native American groups had sued TransCanada and The U.S. Department of State in federal court in Great Falls, citing property rights and potential oil spills but Judge Morris went beyond those arguments.
Morris ruled the government's analysis didn't fully study the cumulative effects of greenhouse gas emissions, the effects of current oil prices on the pipeline's viability, or include updated modeling of potential oil spills.
TransCanada hasn't released a statement on the ruling, but environmentalists are lauding it. Becky Mitchell, chairwoman of the Northern Plains Resource Council, a plaintiff in the case, said that the organization is thrilled with the ruling.
TransCanada, which is pushing the project, did not immediately respond to a request for comment early Friday.
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