Montana Public Radio

Keystone XL pipeline

Editor’s note: This story was updated Aug. 6, 2020 to include more detailed information about health and safety protocols TC Energy has required of its contracted workers, along with updated information from the Phillips County Health Department.

The developer of the Keystone XL oil pipeline confirmed Aug. 5 that two of its workers in northern Montana tested positive for the novel coronavirus last week.


Environmental groups filed the latest in a series of federal lawsuits against the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline, this time challenging a permit to cross federal lands.

The U.S. Supreme Court on July 6 upheld a stay on parts of construction for the 1,200-mile Keystone XL crude oil pipeline, which broke ground in northern Montana earlier this year.

Oil well.
(PD)

Federal courts have delivered a string of rebukes to the Trump administration over what they found were failures to protect the environment and address climate change as it promotes fossil fuel interests and the extraction of natural resources from public lands.


This week, tribal members who protested the Keystone XL oil pipeline construction earlier this month submitted statements to a federal judge that they witnessed workers breaking social distancing protocol.

A federal judge in Montana will hear an appeal from U.S. attorneys on his decision to block a federal pipeline permitting program.

Great Falls Federal Judge Brian Morris Tuesday granted the government’s request for an expedited appeal but kept in place a hold on projects using Nationwide Permit 12.

A federal judge in Montana Thursday heard arguments but made no ruling on tribes’ suit to halt construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. The hearing was part of an ongoing lawsuit the Fort Belknap Indian community in Montana and the Rosebud Sioux Tribe in South Dakota brought against developer TC Energy and President Donald Trump.

Pipes for Keystone XL Pipeline.
shannonpatrick17 (CC-BY-2.0)

Construction on the long-stalled Keystone XL Pipeline started Monday, according to a Canadian company. Work on the U.S.-Canadian border kicked off despite calls from tribal leaders and environmentalists to delay the $8 billion project amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Like many other essential industries in Montana, the state’s energy sector continues the daily grind amid concerns over the COVID-19 illness. YPR News’s Kayla Desroches has been reporting on oil, gas and coal production and she shares her reporting with us now.

A Canadian company’s announcement this week that it plans to move forward with construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline in northern Montana has nearby Native American tribes and some locals concerned that the flow of workers could carry the novel coronavirus into a community with limited health care resources.

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