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Order halting Keystone XL construction shows urgent need to get Canadian oil to new markets, energy group says

The most recent legal setback for California's $ 10 billion Keystone XL pipeline from California by Califoria is another reminder that Canada has to export its oil and natural gas to new global markets, says a trade association

A US District Court judge in Montana has put the project on hold in a verdict made at the end of Thursday, where the potential impact was not considered as required by federal law.

Judge Brian Morris has given an order to stop the construction of the 1,900-kilometer-long pipeline, ruling that the US State Department was required to "analyze new information relevant to the environmental impact of its decision" to Last year to issue a permit for the pipeline.

Environmentalists and Indian groups had filed a lawsuit to stop the project rights and possible oil spills.

Spokesperson Tonya Zelinsky of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers told CBC News that the group is disappointed about the verdict. [196] 59002] "This decision strengthens the need for Canada to export its oil and natural gas to new global markets, ensuring fair market value for our natural resources, meeting growing global demand and our customer base outside the US is being expanded, "she said.

Government response in Alberta

That message was repeated Friday by Alberta Energy Minister Marg McCuaig-Boyd.

"This ruling from a foreign court once again underlines the urgent need for Canada to build pipelines within our own borders, including the expansion of Trans Mountain," she said.

"Today's difference tells the story, our resources are cheap, Canada is losing over $ 80 million a day, we need market access."

McCuaig-Boyd said she spoke earlier in the day with TransCanada officials and that they "remain fully involved in the Keystone XL pipeline".

The Keystone XL pipeline would bring oil from Hardisty, Alta., To Steele City, Neb. (Natalie Holdway / CBC)

She hopes that TransCanada, or "anyone who is able & # 39 ;," appeals to the Court's ruling

United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney said that an appeal is critical and struck the court's decision.

"The final decision on Keystone XL is certainly a setback, but I fully expect the decision to be challenged against a higher court that will actually follow the law, and I am also a Ncouraged that TransCanada has indicated that they will continue for the project, "he said.


The crude production in Alberta's oils has grown faster than the pipeline capacity, creating a bottleneck that has pushed prices down.

Canadian heavy crude oil, traded as Western Canada Select, has seen a steadily deteriorating rebate compared to Brent oil, the global benchmark and West Texas Intermediate in the United States.

On Friday, WTI was trading at $ 59.98 US compared to $ 17.75 US for WCS. The steep rebate has taken billions of dollars from the Canadian economy, according to some estimates.

Discussion by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

TransCanada says that despite the judgment of the judge in Montana it will continue to work on the project.

The US State Department told CBC News that officials are reviewing the order and that no further comments will be given as there are pending litigation.

James Coleman, a former professor at the University of Calgary who now specializes in energy law in Dallas, says the appeal can be appealed against or the government could try to address the concerns raised by the judge.

"Keep in mind that this does not suggest that TransCanada did something wrong." This is a lawsuit that is challenging US government approval, so it's up to the US government what's happening from here, "he said.

US President Donald Trump called the ruling a disgrace and says there's a

& # 39; It is not surprising that

Warren Mabee, director of the Queen's University Institute for Energy and Environmental Policy, says the statement would be a six- could mean 12 months' delay of the project, given how long it would take to complete a new environmental evaluation.

"It is certainly still a postponement and it is a project that has been going on for the last five, six, seven years now. delay is delayed. I think the company probably expected this, "he said.

" It is not surprising that this happens, but I do not think it is necessary to put a nail in the box. It is not the end of the project, it is just a thing to go through. "

TransCanada shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange fell Friday by 2.75 percent in early trading.

Keystone XL could transport up to 830,000 barrels of crude oil a day from Canada via Montana and South Dakota to Stee le City, Neb., where it would be connected to the original Keystone pipeline running to the California Gulf Coast refineries

Environmentalists celebrate

Environmentalists and indigenous groups celebrated the verdict as a victory.

Dallas Goldtooth, who is part of the Indigenous Environmental Network, said he was nervous because the statement was "big news."

"We continue to kill and it always comes back from the dead," Goldtooth said who is a Mdewakanton Dakota and Diñe man.

But because the verdict of the judge can be challenged, Goldtooth said his activism against the project

"We just go on," he said Thursday.

Green Hudson, climate activist Mike Hudema, said the ruling is a major setback for TransCanada's Keystone XL project

] "This should also be a huge warning sign for the liberal government about the inevitable legal obstacles they will encounter if they keep on hurrying and limit Trans Mountain's assessment process, "he wrote in a statement. "We can not afford a new fossil fuel infrastructure if we want to save the planet."

Nebraska fight

There is still legal bickering about the Nebraska pipeline.

The Nebraska Public Service Commission approved an alternative route at the end of last year, a statement that environmental groups
are challenging.

TransCanada has said that it expects a decision on the routing of the Nebraska High Court by the first quarter of 2019.

The company has yet to make a final investment decision to proceed with the project, even though it was with the construction started. It said last week that it is also looking for partners to finance the construction of KXL.

With files from Meegan Read and Tony Seskus.

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