U.S. District Judge Brian Morris allowed a lawsuit over a key permit for the Keystone XL oil pipeline to move forward, rejecting claims from the Trump administration and developers of the Keystone XL pipeline, The Hill informs.
The Indigenous Environmental Network, North Coast River Alliance and others challenged the presidential permit issued by the Trump administration earlier this year, allowing the pipeline to cross the U.S.-Canada border. The permit was issued using older environmental assessments, and opponents argue that these assessments need to be updated before a cross-border permit can be issued.
The Trump administration and developer TransCanada argued the lawsuit should be dismissed due to jurisdictional concerns. However, Morris, an appointee of former President Barack Obama, rejected that request on Wednesday, The Hill notes.
Opponents of Keystone XL celebrated the decision Wednesday, and their lawsuit against the federal permit is one of the key roadblocks still facing the Keystone pipeline.
A Nebraska regulatory commission this week issued a permit allowing the construction of the pipeline in the state. That decision is subject to legal challenges, and TransCanada is analyzing the economics of building the proposed $8 billion pipeline before moving forward, The Hill adds.