The Center for Biological Diversity, the Western Nebraska Resources Council, and Friends of the Earth filed a lawsuit October 5 against the Departments of State and Interior challenging construction of the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline that they believe is taking place before a federal permit has been issued. Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and six other House Democrats sent a letter the previous day to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urging her to reject TransCanada’s permit request, noting that the agency failed to consider alternative routes that would bypass the Ogallala Aquifer in its final environmental impact statement. The Department of State held a public meeting about the proposed pipeline project on October 7.