The battle over construction of the Keystone XL pipeline is moving to the Ninth District Court of Appeals in San Francisco.
The Trump administration filed an appeal Friday of U.S. District Court Judge Brian Morris’ rulings to block pre-construction work on the pipeline and require a new environmental review for the proposed route.
This action is the latest in the decade-long fight over the proposed 1,179-mile-long pipeline, which runs from Alberta and crosses a half dozen states, including eastern Montana, before connecting with an existing line in Nebraska.
Among other environmental permits, the pipeline required one from the U.S. Department of State, which is the agency filing the appeal.
Developer TransCanada Corp., which recently changed its name to TC Pipelines, joined in the appeal. The Canadian firm says the project will cost $8 billion and boost the local economies along the pipeline route.
Billings-based Northern Plains Resource Council and other environmental groups sued to block construction.
Written arguments are expected at the Ninth District in April.