According to Carmen, Trump's January 2017 executive order to expedite high priority energy and infrastructure projects, such as the Keystone XL pipeline, is in clear violation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the American Declaration on the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples.
"We remain committed to building this important energy infrastructure project", TransCanada spokesperson Grady Semmens said.
The court has asked the government to review its assessment and revise it, taking into account the changes in the oil markets since 2014, the latest in climate change, and the presence of "cultural resources" along the route of the pipeline that was planned to carry heavy oil from Alberta to USA refineries.
The federal court order blocks a Trump administration permit for the construction of the pipeline.
An appeal of the decision is highly likely, as the legal back-and-forth looks set to continue in the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. "We have said our preference would be Canadian pipelines to Canadian tidewater, but at the same time this absolutely represents a number of jobs, we're fairly intertwined with the USA and Houston area, the refineries there".
Morris wrote that the State Department had "simply discarded prior factual findings related to climate change" from the Obama administration in its zeal to further Trump's goal of letting the pipeline move forward.
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Opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline has centered on climate change concerns, as well as potential damage to endangered species and to local landowners, including native Americans, whose property would be dug up for the pipeline. Native American groups in Montana and elsewhere fought the Keystone project as well, saying its route failed to adhere to historical treaty boundaries and would impinge on their water systems and sacred lands.
"And frankly, approving this project would have undercut that global leadership", he said, adding that the "biggest risk" the US faced was "not acting".
If constructed, the Keystone XL Pipeline would stretch from Hardisty, Alberta, to Nebraska, where it would connect to an existing pipeline going to the Gulf Coast.
"It was a political decision made by a judge".
Jackie Prange, senior attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council, called the ruling a "huge win" not just for the environmental activists and tribal groups who have been fighting the pipeline, but for "anyone who cares about the rule of law and holding this administration to the facts". "That's why we keep winning in the court".
The State Department could try to address the deficiencies the judge indicated in the ruling, appeal the decision to a higher court, or Congress could try to pass a law enabling the project's construction.