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Judge Orders Full Environmental Review of Keystone XL in Nebraska
TransCanada's long-gestating Keystone XL (KXL) tar sands pipeline was dealt another setback after a federal judge in Montana ruled Wednesday that the Trump State Department must conduct a robust environmental review of the alternative pipeline route through Nebraska.
U.S. District Court Judge Brian Morris sided with environmentalists, landowners and tribal plaintiffs in their challenge to the Trump administration. Pipeline opponents argued that the State Department's approval of the KXL was based on an outdated Environmental Impact Statement from 2014 of the original route, and accused the administration of trying to short-cut the permitting process.
Morris ordered the State Department to conduct a thorough Environmental Impact Statement for the "Mainline Alternative" route, approved by Nebraska officials in November, to supplement the 2014 review.
In his decision, Morris said the State Department has the "obligation to analyze new information relevant to the environmental impacts of its decision," according to Courthouse News Service.
If built, the $8 billion 1,180-mile pipeline will transport heavy crude from Alberta's tar sands to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries. The controversial project has been at the center of an environmental fight for a decade. President Obama rejected the KXL in 2015 partly due to concerns about its contribution to climate change, but President Trump reversed the decision shortly after taking office.
Plaintiffs in the case celebrated the decision.
"This decision rejects the Trump administration's shameful attempt to ram through Keystone XL without bothering to take a hard look at its effect on wildlife and the environment," said Jared Margolis, senior attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity, in a statement. "It's always been painfully obvious what a disaster this pipeline will be—not just for our climate and local communities but for endangered species like the whooping crane. There's just no excuse for approving this terrible project."
Joye Braun, of the Wakpa Waste Camp at the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation in South Dakota, said in a statement: "This is a huge step to once again shut down this zombie pipeline that threatens water, our homelands, and our treaty territory. No route is acceptable for Keystone XL, and I believe a full environmental review of this alternative route will highlight the extraordinary risks this pipeline poses to us all—including highly sensitive ecological and cultural sites. This is a step in the right direction to protect our treaty territory, our Indigenous rights, and our people."
In November, the Nebraska Public Service Commission rejected TransCanada's preferred route for the pipeline through the state. Instead, they voted for an alternative route that will cost the company millions of dollars more than the original path, Reuters reported.
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‘Companies Should Not Be Allowed to Use Hazardous Ingredients in Products People Use’: Michelle Pfeiffer Speaks Up for Safer Cosmetics
The beauty products we put on our skin can have important consequences for our health. Just this March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that some Claire's cosmetics had tested positive for asbestos. But the FDA could only issue a warning, not a recall, because current law does not empower the agency to do so.
Michelle Pfeiffer wants to change that.
The actress and Environmental Working Group (EWG) board member was spotted on Capitol Hill Thursday lobbying lawmakers on behalf of a bill that would increase oversight of the cosmetics industry, The Washington Post reported.
By Julia Conley
Scientists at the United Nations' intergovernmental body focusing on biodiversity sounded alarms earlier this month with its report on the looming potential extinction of one million species — but few heard their calls, according to a German newspaper report.
The climate crisis is a major concern for American voters with nearly 40 percent reporting the issue will help determine how they cast their ballots in the upcoming 2020 presidential election, according to a report compiled by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.
Of more than 1,000 registered voters surveyed on global warming, climate and energy policies, as well as personal and collective action, 38 percent said that a candidate's position on climate change is "very important" when it comes to determining who will win their vote. Overall, democratic candidates are under more pressure to provide green solutions as part of their campaign promises with 64 percent of Democrat voters saying they prioritize the issue compared with just 34 percent of Independents and 12 percent of Republicans.
President Donald Trump has agreed to sign a $19.1 billion disaster relief bill that will help Americans still recovering from the flooding, hurricanes and wildfires that have devastated parts of the country in the past two years. Senate Republicans said they struck a deal with the president to approve the measure, despite the fact that it did not include the funding he wanted for the U.S.-Mexican border, CNN reported.
"The U.S. Senate has just approved a 19 Billion Dollar Disaster Relief Bill, with my total approval. Great!" the president tweeted Thursday.
"There was a lot of devastation throughout the state," Governor Mike Parson said at a Thursday morning press conference, as NPR reported. "We were very fortunate last night that we didn't have more injuries than what we had, and we didn't have more fatalities across the state. But three is too many."