(Mont)-Hearing On Latest Keystone XL Suit Set For Thurs
BILLINGS, MT. (AP) - A hearing is scheduled for tomorrow in federal court in Montana on a motion by attorneys for the Trump administration to throw out the latest lawsuit brought by Native American tribes to block the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline.
The Assiniboine and Gros Ventre tribes of the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation Montana and South Dakota's Rosebud Sioux tribe say President Trump violated their rights under treaties from the mid-1800s when he approved a permit for the pipeline in March.
The tribes also say Trump approved the pipeline without considering potential damage to cultural sites from spills and construction.
The administration argues Trump's presidential permit applies only to a 1-mile section of pipeline along the U.S.-Canada border in northern Montana.
U-S District Judge Brian Morris will preside over the hearing on the government's attempt to dismiss the case. He's already presiding over another legal challenge to the pipeline.
Morris halted work on the Keystone XL last year, ruling that the government failed to adquately research potential environmental impacts when Trump originally granted a permit in 2017.
Trump rescinded that permit and issued the new permit in March, triggering a nearly identical suit from the same opponents who also argued that the president was simply trying to get around the requirements of federal environmental laws.
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