Jul 6, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Supreme Court leaves in place order blocking Keystone Pipeline construction

Pipes laying in a field

Miles of unused pipe for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline outside Gascoyne, North Dakota. Photo: Andrew Burton/Getty Images

The Supreme Court 0n Monday rejected a request by the Trump administration to allow TC Energy to build parts of the Keystone XL pipeline in Montana while the appeals process moves forward on a federal court order that blocked construction, the New York Times reports.

Yes, but: The court's decision on Monday also "temporarily revived a permit program that would let other oil and gas pipelines cross waterways after only modest scrutiny from regulators," per the Times.

Why it matters, via Axios' Amy Harder: The court's decision leaves Keystone — arguably the world's highest profile and most politically contentious pipeline project — tied up in the permitting and legal morass it's been in for more than a decade.

  • The revival of the permit program is a win for the oil and gas industry overall, but a loss for TC Energy and the Trump administration's push to jump-start the Keystone project.
  • The Supreme Court's unsigned order did not provide an explanation, which is typical on emergency applications, and noted that it would remain in effect during the appeals process, per the Times.

The big picture: A news comes on the heels of a federal judge ordering the Dakota Access Pipeline to shut down on Monday while the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers conducts a new environmental analysis, Axios' Ben Geman reports.

  • Duke Energy and Dominion Energy also canceled their plans for the $8 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline this weekend, citing a federal district court judge's decision that overturned federal permit authority for waterbody and wetland crossings.

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