(Neb)-Judge Told Federal Shutdown Shouldn't Delay Keystone XL Hearing
GREAT FALLS, MT. (AP) - Attorneys for the U-S Justice Department and TransCanada Corporation say the U.S. government shutdown shouldn't delay a court hearing on a judge's decision to halt construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.
Justice Department attorney Bridget McNeil said in a court filing Monday that government lawyers are prohibited from working except in emergencies during the shutdown, but aren't needed in the hearing next Monday in U.S. District Court in Great Falls.
TransCanada attorneys had already told U.S. District Judge Brian Morris the company was prepared to hold the hearing without the government being represented.
In November, Judge Morris overturned the Trump administration's approval of the pipeline - concluding that additional environmental review was needed in regard to oil spill mitigation, greenhouse gas emissions, and cultural sites.
The ruling barred TransCanada from constructing and operating the pipeline, but the company asked Morris to amend his ruling to clarify whether pre-construction activities could continue while its appeal of his decision makes its way through the court system.
Last month he did allow some pre-construction activities, but TransCanada says the judge should allow it to d
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