TransCanada denied request for some Keystone XL preparatory work
|Toronto Star 16 Feb 2019 at 11:24|
TransCanada Corp. was partly denied a request to continue some pre-construction work on the Keystone XL oil pipeline while a dispute over the project’s environmental review wends its way through the courts.
The company won’t be allowed to prepare sites for construction camps, but it will be allowed to prepare pipeline-storage and container yards and receive pipe at those sites, according to a ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Brian Morris that was released Friday.
The $8 billion (U.S.) Keystone XL line — which already has been in the works for a decade amid environmental, Indigenous and landowner opposition — hit another snag in November, when Morris ruled that the project’s 2014 environmental assessment was inadequate. The Trump administration has appealed that ruling and TransCanada had sought to continue some preparatory work while the case is under consideration.
Morris’s decision on the preparatory work follows an earlier ruling where he blocked primary construction of the conduit pending further environmental review. Environmental preservation groups filed the Great Falls, Montana, lawsuit in 2017.
TransCanada spokesman Terry Cunha said the company is still reviewing the ruling.
The 1,900-kilometre Keystone XL would help carry 830,000 barrels of crude a day from Alberta’s oilsands to U.S. Gulf Coast refiners, providing a key lifeline for Canada’s energy industry, which has suffered from a lack of pipeline space. Opponents of the project argue that it would contribute to global warming and threaten the land along its path.