Image: Ray Bodden via flickr
Despite the fact that the project has not been approved yet, and despite nearly universal opposition (with the exception of the State Department), work on the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline has actually already begun.
Today, a coalition of environmental groups sued the U.S. State Department and Fish & Wildlife Service to stop that work: the clearing of grasslands, the moving of threatened species, and other work they say TransCanada is doing illegally in advance of the proposed $7 billion pipeline.Reuters reports that the Center for Biological Diversity, the Western Nebraska Resources Council and Friends of the Earth filed the suit [PDF] in the U.S. District Court in Nebraska.
More from Reuters:
"It's outrageous that TransCanada is already clearing the way for the Keystone XL pipeline before the public has had a chance to have its say and, indeed, before federal agencies have even said it can be built," said Noah Greenwald, endangered species program director at the Center for Biological Diversity.
The groups say the State Department and the Fish and Wildlife Service have quietly allowed TransCanada to do the work, including mowing a corridor of native prairie grasslands in Nebraska's ecologically sensitive Sand Hills region.
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More on the Keystone XL pipeline:
State Dept. Documents Show Agency Advised TransCanada on Keystone XL Review Process
Justice Department Asked To Investigate Top Pipeline Lobbyist
Keystone XL Pipeline Won't 'Play Any Substantial Role' In Putting Americans Back To Work: Cornell Univ. Study
Dalai Lama & Nobel Laureates Oppose Keystone XL Pipeline
Another Day, Another Spill: TransCanada Shuts Down Keystone Pipeline