US Judge Upholds Keystone XL Ruling

US Judge Upholds Keystone XL Ruling
However, non-pipeline projects such as electric transmission lines will now be allowed to proceed.

Earlier this week Chief U.S. District Judge Brian Morris upheld his ruling from last month that nixed a permit for the Keystone XL oil pipeline. The judge shot down a plea by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to adjust his earlier ruling that canceled Nationwide Permit 12, which grants work on pipelines across bodies of water.

In his initial ruling, the judge said that when the Army Corps renewed the permit in 2017 it did not adequately review risks to endangered species and related habitats, and it had to do so before the permit would apply to any project nationwide.

However, Morris did update his original ruling to allow non-pipeline projects such as electric transmission lines to proceed. While the ruling does not block construction of Keystone or other pipelines, without the permit that allows water access only the sections related to land can continue.

The pipeline, which has been stalled numerous times for more than 10 years, is estimated to be 1,210-miles long and would be capable of delivering 830,000 barrels per day of oil from Hardisty, Alberta to Steele City, Nebraska where it will connect with TC Energy’s existing facilities to reach U.S. Gulf Coast refiners.

Construction was due to start this spring and the pipeline was supposed to enter service in 2023.

To contact the author, email bertie.taylor@rigzone.com.



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