Press Release: Northern Plains Resource Council Wins KXL Lawsuit

Federal Judge Brian Morris vacates Presidential Permit


Great Falls, MT – Today, Judge Brian Morris levied what could be the final blow to TransCanada’s would-be Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, vacating the 2017 record of decision by President Trump to issue the Presidential Permit for the project.

Judge Morris ruled that The State Department’s analysis of the following issues fell short of a “hard look” and requires a supplement to the 2014 SEIS in order to comply with its obligations under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

The Court enjoins (prohibits) TransCanada from engaging in any activity in furtherance of the construction or operation of Keystone and associated facilities until the Department of State has completed a supplement to the 2014 Environmental Impact Statement that complies with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act and Administrative Procedure Act.

Specifically, Judge Morris ruled that the following issues have not been adequately considered:

  • The effects of current oil prices on the viability of Keystone
  • The cumulative effects of greenhouse gas emissions from the Alberta Clipper expansion and Keystone
  • An updated modeling of potential oil spills and recommended mitigation measures

“Today’s ruling is a victory for the rule of law, and it’s a victory for common sense stewardship of the land and water upon which we all depend. Despite the best efforts of wealthy, multinational corporations and the powerful politicians who cynically do their bidding, we see that everyday people can still band together and successfully defend their rights. All Americans should be proud that our system of checks and balances can still function even in the face of enormous strains,” said Dena Hoff, Glendive farmer and member-leader of the Northern Plains Resource Council.

“We’re thrilled with Judge Morris’s ruling today. In essence, this decision sends TransCanada back to the drawing board. It’s nearly as good a ruling as we could have hoped for – he decided in our favor on almost all of our claims. Today, we saw the results of grassroots democracy in action, winning for water and people!” said Becky Mitchell, chairwoman of the Northern Plains Resource Council.