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The Keystone XL pipeline at one point was going to run through the sensitive Sand Hills areas of Nebraska west of Butte. The pipeline was rerouted around the Sand Hills, but still under the Niobrara River area pictured here on July 4, 2012. Michael S. Williamson / The Washington Post via Getty Images

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 Pipeline opponents argued that the State Department's approval of the KXL was based on an outdated Environmental Impact Statement from 2014 of the original route, and accused the administration of trying to short-cut the permitting process.

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350.org's No KeyStone XL Washington, DC march. John Duffy / Flickr / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Trump State Dept. Attempts 'Shortcut' to Build KXL Pipeline, Groups Say

Environmentalists spoke out against President Donald Trump's State Department after it found "no significant environmental impacts" in its review of TransCanada's long-gestating Keystone XL (KXL) pipeline.

The alternative route approved by Nebraska regulators in November would have "minor to moderate" impacts from its construction and operation, according to the 300-page draft report released Monday. It said the route would not have a major impact on the state's water resources, soils or wildlife. It may cause minor impacts on cultural resources such as Native American graves.

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Energy

Despite Deadly Global Heatwave, Canada Invests in Climate Disaster

By Andy Rowell

If Justin Trudeau didn't know before, he does now. If Canada's prime minister could blame ignorance before, he can't now.

Every day brings reports of new deaths and disasters as the intense heat wave which has gripped much of the Northern Hemisphere continues.

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Business
Canterbury Cathedral is the mother church of the Church of England. Jules & Jenny / CC BY 2.0

Church of England to Divest From Companies That Neglect Paris Agreement Goals

The Church of England will divest its $16 billion fund from companies that are not aligning themselves with the goals of the Paris agreement, church officials announced Sunday.

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Energy
Protesters at Trans Mountain pipeline protest in Burnaby. Break Free / Flickr / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Canada to Buy Controversial Tar Sands Pipeline

The Canadian government plans to spend $4.5 billion Canadian dollars ($3.5 billion) to buy Kinder Morgan's existing Trans Mountain pipeline and its controversial expansion project that will triple the amount of tar sands transported from Alberta to the coast of British Columbia.

The pipeline has been at the center of widespread protests by environmentalists and some Indigenous groups. The announcement was met with condemnation from 350.org organizers, who slammed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his government for "turning Canada into a fossil fuel company."

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at World Bank Group headquarters during Trudeau's first official visit to Washington, DC in March 2016. Franz Mahr / World Bank / CC BY 2.0

236 Civil Society Groups to Justin Trudeau: 'The Time for Investment in New Fossil Fuel Infrastructure Is Over'

By Andy Rowell

With just over a week to go until the May 31 deadline set by Kinder Morgan for the Canadian Government to resolve all financial and political issues surrounding its highly controversial Trans Mountain pipeline, some 236 civil society groups from 44 countries have written to Justin Trudeau to tell him to drop his support for the project.

Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain Pipeline will triple the amount of dirty tar sands being shipped from Alberta to the coast of British Columbia.

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Energy

Wisconsin Oil Refinery Explosion Injures at Least 15 People

A powerful explosion at Husky Energy's oil refinery in Superior, Wisconsin sparked a massive fire and injured multiple people on Thursday.

The blast sent thick, dark smoke across the city and prompted the evacuation of thousands of residents 10 miles downwind of the refinery, 2 miles to the north, and 3 miles east and west. All Superior schools closed Friday due to the fire.

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Climate activists Emily Johnston and Annette Klapstein shut down Enbridge's tar sands pipelines 4 and 67 in Minnesota on Oct. 11, 2016. Climate Direct Action

Activists May Argue Pipeline Shutdown Was Necessary Due to Climate Change, Court Rules

The Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled Monday that four climate activists facing criminal charges may use an unusual "necessity defense" over their efforts to shut down a pair of tar sands pipelines owned by Enbridge Energy.

"Valve turners" Emily Johnston and Annette Klapstein were charged after shutting off the emergency valves on the two pipelines in October 2016. Johnston and Klapstein, and the two defendants who filmed them, argue their actions to stop the flow of the polluting bitumen were justified due to the threat of climate change.

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Energy
Protest in Burnaby Mountain in BC on April 7. Protect the Inlet / Flickr

Trudeau Pledges Taxpayer Money, New Laws to Salvage Controversial Pipeline

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Sunday he is ready to offer financial aid and new legislation to push forward the contentious Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion that will triple production of tar sands going from Alberta to British Columbia.

Houston-based developer Kinder Morgan has threatened to scrap the $7.4 billion (USD $5.9 billion) project unless political and legal opposition is resolved by May 31. The energy giant's move came after fierce opposition from environmental activists and Indigenous groups, as well as escalating tension between the Albertan and British Columbian governments.

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