202

Appeals court weighs Trump permit for Keystone XL pipeline

FILE - In this Nov. 6, 2015 file photo, a TransCanada's Keystone pipeline facility is seen in Hardisty, Alberta. Opponents of the long-stalled Keystone XL oil pipeline say President Donald Trump acted illegally when he issued a new permit for the project to get around an earlier court ruling. Attorneys for environmental groups asked U.S. District Judge Brian Morris Friday, April 5, 2019 to strike down the permit. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press via AP, File)

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — U.S. Justice Department attorneys want an appeals court to let construction proceed on the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada. But opponents say President Donald Trump is trying to skirt the law by issuing a new permit for the project.

The Trump administration has asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse a lower court ruling that blocked construction of the $8 billion pipeline.

Government attorneys say the November ruling that more environmental study was needed is now meaningless. That’s because Trump issued a new permit to developer TransCanada in March.

In a legal filing late Wednesday, environmental groups asked the appeals court to keep construction blocked.

Legal experts say the case is another test of Trump’s use of presidential power to get his way.

Copyright © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.