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Appeals court weighs Trump permit for Keystone XL pipeline

BILLINGS, Mont. — U.S. Justice Department attorneys want an appeals court to let construction proceed on the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada. But opponents say President Donald Trump is trying to skirt the law by issuing a new permit for the project.

The Trump administration has asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse a lower court ruling that blocked construction of the $8 billion pipeline.

Government attorneys say the November ruling that more environmental study was needed is now meaningless. That’s because Trump issued a new permit to developer TransCanada in March.

In a legal filing late Wednesday, environmental groups asked the appeals court to keep construction blocked.

Legal experts say the case is another test of Trump’s use of presidential power to get his way.

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