GREAT FALLS – Environmental groups filed suit in federal court in Great Falls Friday to block President Donald Trump’s new presidential permit approving the Keystone XL pipeline.
The Indigenous Environmental Network and North Coast Rivers Alliance argued in court documents that Trump lacked the authority to issue the permit on certain land managed by the Bureau of Land Management, which is overseen by Congress.
They also argued that Congress, not the president, has the authority to regulate interstate commerce.
The suit was filed before U.S. District Judge Brian Morris, who halted construction of the pipeline under a previous Trump administration permit. Morris ruled in that permit, developers failed to adequately factor changing oil prices and the effects of climate change.
Developer TransCanada Corp. is seeking to build the 1,179-mile pipeline from the tar sands of Alberta, through Montana and South Dakota, before connecting to an existing line in Nebraska.
The proposal has been delayed several times since it was first proposed more than a decade ago.
In addition to Trump, environmentalists also named in the suit Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, Secretary of Interior David Bernhardt and the BLM.