Miles of unused pipe, prepared for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, sit in a lot. Photo: Andrew Burton/Getty Images

A federal district court judge in Montana thwarted construction of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline late Thursday, ruling that the Trump administration must first provide an updated environmental analysis.

Why it matters: The ruling is a setback for White House efforts to enable construction of the pipeline — first proposed a decade ago — that would carry hundreds of thousands of barrels per day from Alberta's oil sands to U.S. markets.

  • It adds another layer of uncertainty for developer TransCanada, which has yet to make a final decision about proceeding with the project that has been the focus of intense, years-long battles between oil interests and environmentalists.

Details, per New York Times:

  • "The judge, Brian M. Morris of the District of Montana, criticized the Trump administration for its failure to provide a 'reasoned explanation' for its position about the pipeline’s impact on the climate."
  • But the ruling goes further than just climate. As the Washington Post notes, the ruling demands a "more complete review of potential adverse impacts related to climate change, cultural resources and endangered species."

The bottom line: Morris' ruling prevents the Trump administration and TransCanada from "engaging in any activity in furtherance of the construction or operation of Keystone and associated facilities" until the updated environmental review is complete.

  • However, the administration could appeal the ruling, so stay tuned.

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Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 12,859,834 — Total deaths: 567,123 — Total recoveries — 7,062,085Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 3,297,501— Total deaths: 135,155 — Total recoveries: 1,006,326 — Total tested: 40,282,176Map.
  3. States: Florida smashes single-day record for new coronavirus cases with over 15,000 — NYC reports zero coronavirus deaths for first time since pandemic hit.
  4. Public health: Ex-FDA chief projects "apex" of South's coronavirus curve in 2-3 weeks — Coronavirus testing czar: Lockdowns in hotspots "should be on the table"
  5. Education: Betsy DeVos says schools that don't reopen shouldn't get federal funds — Pelosi accuses Trump of "messing with the health of our children."

Scoop: How the White House is trying to trap leakers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Trump's chief of staff, Mark Meadows, has told several White House staffers he's fed specific nuggets of information to suspected leakers to see if they pass them on to reporters — a trap that would confirm his suspicions. "Meadows told me he was doing that," said one former White House official. "I don't know if it ever worked."

Why it matters: This hunt for leakers has put some White House staffers on edge, with multiple officials telling Axios that Meadows has been unusually vocal about his tactics. So far, he's caught only one person, for a minor leak.

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Lauren Boebert posing in her restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, on April 24. Photo: Emily Kask/AFP

At least 11 Republican congressional nominees have publicly supported or defended the QAnon conspiracy theory movement or some of its tenets — and more aligned with the movement may still find a way onto ballots this year.

Why it matters: Their progress shows how a fringe online forum built on unsubstantiated claims and flagged as a threat by the FBI is seeking a foothold in the U.S. political mainstream.