Dakota Rural Action applauds the decision today by the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, upholding U.S. District Court Judge Brian Morris’ Nov. 8th ruling halting construction of the Keystone XL pipeline through Montana, South Dakota, and Nebraska. The ruling states, in part, that KXL developer “TransCanada has not made the requisite strong showing that they are likely to prevail on the merits.”

Last week, using the threat of what the administration characterized as an “emergency,” due to imminent construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem pushed two anti-free speech bills (SB 189 and SB 190) through the state legislature. Despite the fact that TransCanada still needs to secure dozens of permits in order to legally build in South Dakota, lawmakers were duped into rushing these bills through the process without adequate hearing or tribal consultation, sparking a backlash from several organizations and Native leaders.

Dakota Rural Action member and Tripp County rancher John Harter said of the ruling, “it needs to be pointed out that even without this decision, the pipeline still has many permits needed in order to be able to go forward under the South Dakota permit conditions. In addition, this calls into question the declaration of an emergency by Governor Noem in passing the riot boosting bill.”

According to TransCanada, today’s decision means that construction of the Keystone XL pipeline cannot begin until 2020, if it is built at all.