New stop for the Keystone XL ... and Trump pipeline

Stuck by Barack Obama in the name of the fight against global warming and re-launched by Donald Trump, this pipeline was again suspended by the courts.

New trend inversion in the Keystone XL folder. Launched in 2008, the construction of this gigantic pipeline, suspended by Obama and then relaunched by Donald Trump to his inauguration, was suspended again on Thursday 8 November. This time on the decision of a federal judge in Montana. An opinion issued two days after the mid-term elections represents a serious quarrel for the president of the United States.

830,000 barrels a day

Long 1,900 kilometers, including 1,450 in the United States, Keystone XL aims to transport Canadian oil sands oil from Alberta (west) to Nebraska (central United States) from where it could reach American refineries in the Gulf of Mexico. He had to deliver 830,000 barrels a day through Alberta, Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, and finally Oklahoma and Texas.

This pipeline is firmly fought by the indigenous communities in the territories it crosses, worried about the environmental damage it could cause.

Understanding of Keystone XL and the Dakota Access Pipeline, the two controversial pipelines

This is also based on an analysis of the US State Department, which did not judge the project "Of national interest for the United States" in view of the risks involved, Barack Obama has decided to block the construction of Keystone XL in 2015.

Risks for the environment

According to Judge Brian Morris, the Trump administration deliberately ignored this analysis when it authorized the relaunch of the pipeline project in March 2017, shortly after the settlement.

"An agency can not turn a blind eye to factual observations made in the past because they do not go in the desired direction"wrote the federal judge. "To justify its inversion, the State Department simply deleted factual data related to climate change"has continued.

Brian Morris finally accused the State Department of not sufficiently taking into account factors such as the fall in oil prices, the risk of leakage or the greenhouse gases emitted by the project.

In November 2017, 5,000 barrels of oil spilled into the plains of South Dakota, USA, following a leak on the Keystone pipeline, one of Keystone XL's branches.

The suspension imposed by the federal judge is, however, temporary and requires the US government to examine more fully the implications of the project for climate, wildlife and indigenous cultures.

NGOs mobilized against funding an oil pipeline in Canada

It is, however, a great victory for environmentalists and the Amerindian community, and an important stop for the president of the United States, who authorized the construction of the gas pipeline in March 2017, thus making a promising campaign a promising one. .

The desire to create jobs

Donald Trump had justified the avoidance of the blockade decreed by his predecessor in the name of the fight against global warming for the desire to create jobs and promote the development of infrastructure.

"This privately funded infrastructure project will help meet America's growing energy needs, create tens of thousands of well-paid jobs and generate substantial economic benefits for the United States." and in Canada », said in a statement in 2016, Russ Girling, CEO of TransCanada, the company responsible for the construction of the gas pipeline.

"Leave this chimera"

The supporters of the environment and the Amerindian populations decided in March to sue TransCanada, the company that manages the project, as well as the State Department to request the suspension.

"Today's decision clearly and irrefutably indicates that it is time for TransCanada to renounce this dream", Sierra Club reacted, which is among the plaintiffs.

Séverin Husson

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