Keystone XL: 9th Circuit Won't Lift Montana Ruling

May 28, 2020

A Montana federal court order that vacated water crossing permits for oil and gas pipelines will stand for now. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has denied a request from the Trump administration, TC Energy, and other energy companies to lift the judge's order pending appeal.

As a result, the Keystone XL pipeline is not permitted to cross 688 bodies of water on its route through Montana, South Dakota, and Nebraska, at least until the appeal has played out.

In its decision, the appeals court says the appellants failed to demonstrate they would likely succeed on the merits of their case if they go to trial. The court also says appellants have not shown they'd suffer irreparable harm if the Montana judge's ruling stays in place.

The appeals court says its previously issued schedule still applies. That includes the filing of briefs into late September.