Indigenous Environmental Network

U.S. District Court Montana

A pivotal hearing in the ongoing Keystone XL saga was conducted Thursday, April 16, in Montana federal court.

Lawyers for President Donald Trump say he has inherent power as commander in chief to issue a permit unilaterally.

Lawyers for tribes and environmentalists say Congress has power over foreign commerce, and the president violated standing presidential orders when he issued a new permit in 2019.

All parties appeared remotely in response to COVID-19 restrictions.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks reports.

Stephen Volker

Opponents to the Keystone XL pipeline have again asked a Montana federal judge to impose a preliminary injunction on the project.

Indigenous Environmental Network and North Coast Rivers Alliance say President Donald Trump acted illegally when he unilaterally gave the project a permit in 2019.

Listen to audio for the rest of the story.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks reports.

Victoria Wicks file photo

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.

Environmentalists have been quick to sue President Donald Trump for issuing a new permit for the Keystone XL pipeline. The president issued a new permit that bypasses the U.S. State Department on March 29.

One week later, two pipeline opponents filed a complaint in Montana federal court.

That new permit has kicked off a flurry of activity in Montana federal court.

Feds say the president is within his rights to sign a new permit, and the project will still be subject to federal review.

ACLU SD

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a challenge to a new South Dakota law designed to protect construction of the Keystone XL pipeline from "riot boosters."

Governor Kristi Noem and Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg are included as defendants. In the last full week of the 2019 legislative session, Noem pushed through two bills to prevent another Standing Rock situation if the Keystone XL pipeline is built.

Noem signed the new legislation on Wednesday, March 27, and the ACLU filed its complaint in South Dakota federal court on Thursday, March 28.

Victoria Wicks

After a year and a half of hearings, motions, and filings, the Public Utilities Commission is taking testimony on whether to authorize TransCanada to build the Keystone XL pipeline across South Dakota. The commission started taking opening statements from opponents and proponents Monday morning. It’s been an emotionally charged issue on both sides.