Disgraced erstwhile monarch Donald Trump has suffered another defeat after a federal judge appointed by President Barack Obama ruled Native Americans and the environmental community can proceed with lawsuits challenging the approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.
U.S. District Judge Brian Morris expressed skepticism over government arguments that Trump has unilateral authority to approve the $8 billion pipeline. In a separate ruling, the judge said the Rosebud Sioux and Fort Belknap Indian tribes had valid claims that approval of the line violated their treaty rights. [Associated Press]The same geology that thwarts railroads and forces engineers to rebuild I-90 between Reliance and Rapid City and I-94 between Mandan, North Dakota and Billings, Montana every year also makes construction of the Keystone XL pipeline untenable.
In 2015, John Kerry, secretary of state under President Barack Obama, concluded the controversial project was not in the country's national interest, citing the impact the project would have on climate change as a major factor in the decision. The environmental impact statement used by the Trump administration in approving the project, attorneys for the environmental groups argued, is “unacceptably stale” and contains outdated information about oil prices, crude by rail, oil spills and modeling for greenhouse gas emissions. [Army of attorneys spar over Keystone pipeline in Great Falls court]Last year citing spills in South Dakota Judge Morris ordered the US State Department to conduct a more thorough environmental review of the proposed pipeline route. Nearly twice as much as originally believed or some 407,000 gallons of oil leaked last year from a faulty Keystone pipeline in Marshall County, South Dakota just days before Nebraska officials announced their decision on an alternative for an additional TransCanada route. Jane Kleeb of Bold Nebraska says support for TransCanada's day in court is facing its final argument and that the pipeline will never be built.
Attorneys for the Trump Organization will stop at nothing to erase Barack Obama's legacy including accelerating the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, a warming climate and an eventual American Indian rebellion to protect treaty lands.
"We are pleased that Judge Morris has rejected all of the excuses raised by the Trump administration and TransCanada in attempting to justify the federal government's failure to address TransCanada's new route through Nebraska," said Stephan Volker, an attorney for the environmental and Native American groups that filed the Montana lawsuit. [Great Falls judge orders new federal review of Keystone XL pipeline]Montana and North Dakota have both suffered the effects of man camps that prey on women and girls where rapes and murders committed by white walkers have become commonplace.
In efforts to block water permits sought by a Texas-based pipeline operator testimony from stakeholders in tribal nations and the environmental community made verbal arguments before the South Dakota Water Management Board.
But Jung-Hoe Hopwood acknowledged he hadn’t considered tribal water rights, didn’t know how many tribes were in South Dakota and didn’t know if any tribes were farther downstream. Hopwood, who works for EXP Consulting of Tallahassee, Florida, said he has been involved since 2009 on projects for what previously was TransCanada and now is TC Energy. [KELO teevee]Had the Quinn Dam failed during high water last Spring one of its first casualties could have been the Keystone XL pipeline where it's proposed to cross the Bad River. Every moving stream, intermittent or not in South Dakota, has supported a pre-settlement Amerindian or European explorer pulling and propelling a canoe over it. Nearly all the waterways in the state are impaired today. Contaminated with mercury for decades, Newell Lake in Butte County, South Dakota has just been closed to the public because of unstable dam conditions.
Intervenors are frustrated with Republican Governor Kristi Noem after she blew off a meeting with tribal members. She's reeling from a loss of her "riot-boosting" law after a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union. South Dakota has no contingency money for cleaning up pipeline disasters and because it is an international project ecoterrorist TC Energy doesn’t pay into a reclamation fund.
The State-Tribal Relations Committee of the South Dakota legislature approved a bill that would make pipeline companies more accountable for any problems caused by a leak. Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Chairman Harold Frazier says natives don’t have any protections. Committee Member, Senator Troy Heinert of Mission says current state law is very weak. [WNAX]As ice floes bash moorings and flooding causes scouring of fill from river bottoms the disasters befalling the Missouri basin should be a stern warning to erstwhile pipeline operators: it's not nice to fool Mother Nature.