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US to conduct additional Keystone XL pipeline review

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The U.S. State Department will conduct another environmental review of TransCanada Corp’s long-pending Keystone XL oil pipeline, a U.S. official said on Friday, a move that could lead to additional delays of the project.

The so-called supplemental environmental impact statement was ordered by Judge Brian Morris of the U.S. District Court in Montana in his ruling on Nov. 8 that blocked construction of the pipeline planned to bring heavy crude from Canada’s oil sands to the United States.

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Morris said in his ruling that previous environmental analysis of Keystone XL fell short of a “hard look” at the cumulative effects of greenhouse gas emissions and the impact on Native American land resources.

The $8 billion pipeline, which is supported by Canadian oil interests and U.S. refiners, but opposed by landowners and environmentalists, has been pending for a decade.

President Donald Trump announced a permit for the project soon after he took office. Former President Barack Obama nixed the pipeline, saying it would do little to help U.S. consumers and would add greenhouse gases.

TransCanada spokesman Terry Cunha said that the State Department’s announcement of an additional review was expected after the judge’s ruling.

Earlier this week, TransCanada asked Morris, the District Court judge, to allow it to resume some U.S.-based pre-construction activities blocked by the initial ruling.

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Morris’ decision on Thursday gave the Calgary, Alberta-based company permission to resume some activity on the pipeline project, including project development work and stakeholder meetings.

It is not allowed to resume physical field work like moving pipe and equipment, preparing work camp sites or undertaking road upgrades at this time, Cunha said. Morris is set to rule on that work after Dec. 5.

“It is too soon to say what the injunction will mean to the timeline of the Keystone XL pipeline but we remain confident the project will be built,” Cunha said.

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Reporting by Timothy Gardner in Washington and Julie Gordon in Vancouver; Editing by Leslie Adler


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Judge orders State Department to expand search for records of Rudy Giuliani and Mike Pompeo communications

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This Friday, a federal judge ordered the State Department to ramp up its search for records detailing communications in regards to Ukraine between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and President Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, McClatchy reports.

Judge Christopher Cooper of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia wants the State Department to expand on its release last month of records documenting contact between the two.

Cooper gave the the State Department until January 8 to release all records documenting "emails, text messages, call logs and scheduled meetings on Ukraine policy that were dated until October 18," adding that the department had “not adequately justified why its Executive Secretariat used a cut-off date," according to McClatchy.

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Supreme Court to hear case demanding Trump’s taxes

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President Donald Trump is, like every other president, responsible for giving his tax returns to Congress. He has refused to do so for all three years he's filed his taxes.

U.S. District Judge Trevor N. McFadden, who was put on the bench by President Trump, said that he would allow a House lawsuit to continue. That case involkes the 1924 law that says the Ways and Means Committee has the authority to seek tax returns.

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‘DESPICABLE’: Melania Trump finally responded to her husband bullying a teenager – and people are pissed

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First lady Melania Trump was blasted online for refusing to stand up to her husband's attacks on teenager Greta Thunberg, who has become a climate activist demanding a cleaner future for her generation.

The first lady's campaign "Be Best," is supposed to fight bullying, but when it comes to the bullying by her husband, Mrs. Trump has a blind spot. She explained in a tweet Friday that since Thunberg is an activist she deserves whatever she gets. By contrast, no one can mention her son with the president.

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