GOP lawmakers push Trump to take ‘any appropriate action’ to save Keystone XL

Dozens of Republican lawmakers are pushing President TrumpDonald John TrumpWarren defends, Buttigieg attacks in debate that shrank the field Five takeaways from the Democratic debate in Ohio Democrats debate in Ohio: Who came out on top? MORE to save Keystone XL after a court ruling last month blocked the controversial oil pipeline’s construction.

Forty-four lawmakers, led by Sen. Steve DainesSteven (Steve) David DainesFallout from Kavanaugh confirmation felt in Washington one year later Conservatives offer stark warning to Trump, GOP on background checks The 23 Republicans who opposed Trump-backed budget deal MORE (Mont.) and Rep. Greg GianforteGregory Richard GianforteHere are the lawmakers who aren't seeking reelection in 2020 House Democrats targeting six more Trump districts for 2020 House GOP fears retirement wave will lead to tsunami MORE (Mont.), wrote to Trump on Friday, saying the court decision by the District Court for the District of Montana “has brought real and immediate consequences, halting critical preconstruction activities and invalidating the analysis that underlies the approval issued by your administration.”

They asked Trump to “take any appropriate action necessary to move construction forward.” The lawmakers didn’t specify what they want that action to be.

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Judge Brian Morris, nominated to the bench by former President Obama, ruled last month that the State Department under Trump didn’t conduct a proper environmental review of the planned Canada-to-Texas pipeline.

He went on to say officials “simply discarded” climate change concerns related to the project, and should have better explained the reversal from Obama’s 2015 rejection of the project.

Trump quickly slammed the ruling as a "political decision" and a "disgrace."

Later, Morris rejected TransCanada Corp.’s request to continue “preconstruction” activities like maintaining rights-of-way and hauling pipe in preparation for building.

The State Department hasn’t notified the court if it intends to appeal the ruling, fix the problems the judge identified or take some other action. State or TransCanada would have to notify the court by Feb. 5 if they intend to appeal.

The GOP lawmakers who wrote to Trump Friday advised against new environmental analysis.

“While we believe that it is important to conduct appropriate environmental reviews, we also believe that further review will not contribute to the existing body of science that already supports pipeline construction and instead will have a significant impact on our rural communities,” they said, adding that Trump should “take every practicable step” to get the project restarted.