Judge Deals Crippling Blow to Trump Agenda
President Donald Trump called the action a “disgrace” and a “political decision” in comments to reporters before departing for his trip to Europe.
The action marks a setback for what had become a signature energy achievement for Trump, who has touted his speedy approval of the pipeline almost immediately upon taking office in January 2017.
That speedy approval of a cross-border permit by the State Department, however, did not meet the standards of the National Environmental Policy Act and the Endangered Species Act, according to U.S. District Court Judge Brian Morris. The judge found the environmental reviews were deficient in their analysis of the project’s effect on greenhouse gas emissions and endangered species, among other areas.
“The Department’s 2017 conclusory analysis that climate-related impacts from Keystone subsequently would prove inconsequential and its corresponding reliance on this conclusion as a centerpiece of its policy change required the Department to provide a reasoned explanation,” Morris wrote in his decision. “The Department instead simply discarded prior factual findings related to climate change to support its course reversal.”