Lawsuit: TransCanada is Illegally Clearing the Way for Keystone XL Pipeline

Although Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama have not yet given the necessary approval for the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, construction has already begun. Environmental organizations are filing suit against the U.S. State Department, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to block TransCanada from continuing its illegal preparations, which include clear-cutting a path through Nebraska:

The plaintiffs — the Center for Biological Diversity, the Western Nebraska Resources Council and Friends of the Earth — say TransCanada has cleared a 100-mile pipeline corridor through the Nebraska Sandhills, despite a federal law that prevents the launch of projects before they receive approval.

“The State Department has further confirmed that it is running a corrupt review process by giving TransCanada a green light to begin construction,” Erich Pica, president of Friends of the Earth, said in prepared remarks. “It makes a mockery of the public and sends a message to Nebraska that their concerns don’t matter. If the State Department was truly doing its job, this lawsuit wouldn’t be necessary.”

Activists are planning to occupy the State Department‘s front steps overnight before the public hearing on the Keystone XL pipeline being held there on Friday.