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Opponents to the Keystone XL pipeline want details on Trump’s approval of the project

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World Pipelines,

Groups opposed to the Keystone XL project have requested that a judge forces the US government to provide emails and documents related to President Trump’s approval of the pipeline.

Environmentalists who have sued to halt the 1800 km TransCanada Corp.’s pipeline, say the documents could have the potential to strengthen their case that the President’s decision was arbitrary and should be overturned by the courts.

Government attorneys argued in court filings that the disputed documents do not need to be made public because they include internal deliberations and therefore the demand should be rejected.

If the opponents to the pipeline are successful in their challenge, the US State Department would have to review roughly 5 million pages of documents at a cost of US$6 million, according to Jerry Drake, an Agency Division Chief who is responsible for its Information Technology team. This is in addition to the 4.5 million documents that were turned over in the case in December 2017.

The overarching intention of the document request is to uncover the basis of Trump’s decision and determine whether it aligns with the years of analysis undertaken on the project during President Obama’s administration.

TransCanada Corp. announced in January that it intends to begin construction of the Keystone XL pipeline in 2019 after securing sufficient commitments from oil companies to ship an estimated 500 000 bpd through the line.

Formal arguments for the document request have been scheduled for today before US District Judge Brian Morris in Great Falls, Montana.

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