The Trump administration attorneys wanted a U.S. judge to throw out a lawsuit from Native American tribes in Montana and South Dakota. The lawsuit is blocking TC Energy’s proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline that would carry up to 830,000 barrels per day from Canada to Nebraska.
A Thursday hearing on the government's attempt to dismiss the case will be presided over by U.S. District Judge Brian Morris. The judge blocked the line in November, saying more environmental studies were needed. But Trump circumvented that ruling in March by issuing a new permit for the $8 billion, 1,184-mile project.
According to the administration, Trump's approval applies only to a 1-mile section of pipeline along the U.S.-Canada border and not the rest of the line, but the tribes argue that Trump's permit applies to the entire pipeline.
The tribes fears that a spill could damage a South Dakota water supply system that serves more than 51,000 people including residents of the Rosebud, Pine Ridge and Lower Brule Indian reservations. Also they say that President Donald Trump approved the pipeline without considering potential damage to cultural sites from spills and construction.