Keystone Foes Fight Trump's Approval in Saga's Latest Twist

(Bloomberg) -- Just as TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL pipeline finally seemed ready to roll, activists are taking one more shot at stopping it.

A year after President Donald Trump gave the O.K. for the line to be built, groups including Bold Alliance and Sierra Club argue in a motion that the federal decision short-circuited the review process, relying on an outdated environmental assessment.

The U.S. State Department failed to adequately explain the reversal of its 2015 denial of the permit under the Obama administration, according to a complaint filed Friday in a federal court in Montana.

The challenge comes less than three months after the state of Nebraska approved the project and TransCanada has signaled it’s prepared to go ahead with construction, though the Calgary-based pipeline giant hasn’t made a final decision yet.

“Whenever federal or state government short-circuits the review process, citizens will stand up for due process and the law,” Jane Kleeb, president of Bold Alliance, said in a statement Monday. “The Trump Administration used the same reports that led to the pipeline being rejected, to now give the foreign, export pipeline a rubber-stamp approval.”

Keystone XL would carry 830,000 barrels of oil-sands crude a day from Hardisty, Alberta, through Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska, connecting to existing lines that stretch all the way to the refining hub on the Gulf Coast. Last month, the company said it had enough support from customers and that the line was still doable despite the requirement for an alternate route in Nebraska.

Representatives for TransCanada didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. Vincent Campos, a spokesman for the State Department, declined to comment due to pending litigation.

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