It’s Tuesday, March 19, and Keystone XL’s developer might be getting used to hearing the words “access denied.”

U.S. District Judge Brian Morris, who was appointed to the federal bench in 2013 by Barack Obama, has been key to pumping the brakes on TransCanada’s controversial $8 billion Keystone XL pipeline.

Late last year, Morris nixed the State Department’s approval of Keystone XL, arguing that the agency didn’t take the project’s contributions to climate change into account before giving it the green light. The judge said the government would have to come back with a better environmental review in hand in order to proceed — the federal equivalent of having to re-do your homework.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

TransCanada didn’t exactly appreciate Morris’ decision and turned to the San Francisco-based 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to essentially override his ruling. On Friday, that court sided with Morris, ruling to uphold his decision and striking a possibly fatal blow to TransCanada’s pipe dreams.

Won’t the company just resort to more legal maneuvering to get its pipeline approved? Maybe. But this new setback means TransCanada will likely miss out on the 2019 construction season. “According to TransCanada, today’s decision means the earliest TransCanada could start construction is 2020, if it ever starts at all,” the Sierra Club said in a press release.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Smog clouds

The Smog

Need-to-know basis

Over the past 20 years, citizens of the lower 48 United States have experienced twice as many record hot days than cold ones. That’s according to a new analysis from the Associated Press, which shows the connection between humans and warming temperatures is unmistakable. In an environment unmarred by industrialization, the number of warm and cold record days should be about even, the analysis says.

Our friend across the pond is in troubled waters, and it ain’t about Brexit. If England doesn’t cut its water usage by a third, the country could run out in 25 years. The chief executive of the Environment Agency said the nation is looking directly into the “watery jaws of death.”

The U.S. — great lover of innovation — just rejected a U.N. proposal to study geoengineering as a way to MacGyver a way out of the climate catastrophe. At a meeting in Nairobi, the Swiss unveiled a plan to study the risks and benefits of geoengineering when it comes to combating climate change. The U.S. and Saudi Arabia opposed it, and ultimately, the resolution was withdrawn.

Zoya Teirstein