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Trump Signs New Permit For Keystone

President Donald Trump signed a new permit for the Keystone XL pipeline project March 29. The move is intended to undermine a ruling by U.S. District Judge Brian Morris in November that the 2014 environmental assessment by the Obama administration fell short. The ruling halted construction on the project, citing inadequate consideration of environmental impacts by the administration. The new permit marks the latest effort by the White House to jump-start the controversial infrastructure project. It gives Calgary-based TransCanada permission to build, connect operate and maintain the pipeline in U.S. territory. Business leaders, TransCanada and representatives from the U.S, Chamber of Commerce Global Energy Institute have praised the move. Over a decade has passed since the pipeline was first proposed.
“President Trump has been clear that he wants to create jobs and advance U.S. energy security and the Keystone XL pipeline does both of those things,” said TransCanada President and Chief Executive Officer Russ Girling in a statement March 29.
U.S. Senator Steve Daines issued a statement following the action: “President Trump’s announcement today is a big win for Montana and our nation,” Daines said the pipeline will create roughly 800 construction jobs and spur millions in revenue for Montana’s rural communities and schools. “I applaud President Trump for his leadership and commitment in getting this done,” said Daines.
Opponents of the pipeline, which would move 800,000 barrels of crude oil daily from Canada through the Central Plains to the Gulf Coast, claim the project will advance the dangerous effects of climate change and poses a threat from potential leaks.
In his 54-page ruling, Judge Morris found that the State Department had discarded prior factual findings related to climate change. He wrote, “An agency cannot simply disregard contrary or inconvenient factual determinations that it made in the past.”
Even with the new permit from President Trump, the pipeline faces another hurdle in Nebraska, where the state Supreme Court is currently weighing a challenge from landowners.