Attorneys for the Trump administration want a U.S. judge to throw out a lawsuit from Native American tribes trying to block the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada to Nebraska.
Tribes in Montana and South Dakota say President Donald Trump approved the pipeline without considering potential damage to cultural sites from spills and construction.
The administration counters that 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.
U.S. District Judge Brian Morris will preside over a Thursday hearing on the government’s attempt to dismiss the case. 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.
The Assiniboine and Gros Ventre tribes of the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation in Montana and South Dakota’s Rosebud Sioux tribe say Trump’s action violated their rights under treaties from the mid-1800s.
“They’re saying we can’t sue the president, and the tribes’ treaties essentially mean nothing. We completely disagree,” said Matthew Campbell, a Native American Rights Fund attorney representing the