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    Keystone pipeline in Walsh County, North Dakota

    US Considered Designating Oil Pipeline Protesters as ‘Domestic Terrorists’ - Reports

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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Internal US government documents have revealed that law enforcement officials considered labeling Keystone XL pipeline protesters as domestic terrorists, the Guardian newspaper reported.

    US officials also discussed forming an inter-agency 'joint terrorism task force' to combat future protests against the pipeline, the Guardian wrote on Monday citing government documents and emails from 2017 and 2018.

    US law enforcement agencies, the report added, have been specifically preparing for possible protests by Native Americans in Montana who will be affected by the pipeline.

    The project has drawn the ire of environmental, landowner, and indigenous groups who argue that the pipeline threatens the sensitive ecosystem. In October, the Keystone pipeline leaked 383,040 gallons of oil in the US state of North Dakota’s wetlands, further cementing opposition to expansion plans.

    Activists march during a protest of the Keystone XL pipeline
    © AFP 2019 / BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI
    Activists march during a protest of the Keystone XL pipeline

    In August, however, the Nebraska Supreme Court gave final approval to the pipeline route.

    Last November, a court ruled that the Trump administration failed to properly asses the project’s potential impact on the environment and indigenous tribes, which halted construction temporarily.

    A depot used to store pipes for Transcanada Corp's planned Keystone XL oil pipeline is seen in Gascoyne, North Dakota, January 25, 2017
    © REUTERS / Terray Sylveste
    A depot used to store pipes for Transcanada Corp's planned Keystone XL oil pipeline is seen in Gascoyne, North Dakota, January 25, 2017

    The 2,687-mile pipeline, which began operating in 2011, carries crude oil from Alberta, Canada to the US state of Texas.

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