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Disputed Keystone Pipeline project focus of court hearing

May 24, 2018

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Attorneys for the Trump administration are due in a Montana courtroom Thursday to defend its approval of the disputed Keystone XL oil sands pipeline.

The 1,179-mile (1,800-kilometer) line proposed by TransCanada Corporation was rejected in 2015 by former President Barack Obama, who said it could exacerbate climate change.

President Donald Trump revived the project last year, citing its potential to create jobs and advance energy independence.

Environmentalists and Native American groups want U.S. District Judge Brian Morris to overturn the approval, claiming it was arbitrary.

Government attorneys assert the change by Trump reflects a policy shift that elevated energy security and economic development over climate change concerns.

Keystone XL would transport Canadian crude through Montana and South Dakota to Nebraska.

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