Montana Federal Judge Refuses To Dismiss Keystone XL Pipeline Lawsuits

Dec 23, 2019

Montana Federal Judge Brian Morris
Credit Montana Federal Court

A federal judge in Montana has handed tribes and environmentalists a pair of partial victories in their fight to stop the Keystone XL pipeline.

Judge Brian Morris has denied requests for dismissal of suits against President Donald Trump, the U.S. State Department, and other federal agencies.

The actions were filed by the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, Fort Belknap Indian Community, Indigenous Environmental Network, and North Coast Rivers Alliance, et al.

Morris did not grant opponents' request for an injunction. He said TC Energy (formerly TransCanada) is not planning any construction activities at this time, and plaintiffs did not demonstrate that an order is necessary to preserve the status quo. But he left open the option of an injunction if it becomes necessary.

TC Energy is also petitioning for water rights in South Dakota and has indicated it wants to start construction in March. The state of Nebraska has approved the pipeline there.