Trump fulfills campaign promise on approval of Keystone XL pipeline
The Trump administration issued a construction permit Friday for the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, reversing a decision by former President Barack Obama that allowing the project to move forward would undermine U.S. leadership on climate change.Obama's refusal to grant a permit was part of his pander to the anti-energy left and many in those groups will likely continue to try to drive up the cost of the pipeline with protest and frivolous litigation. The Department of Justice should consider a RICO action against these groups if they engage in the kinds of obstruction they did in the fight over the Dakota Access pipeline. They should also consider suits for damages against the sponsors of these groups.
The decision marks the latest twist in a years-long fight between environmental groups and the energy industry over the $8 billion pipeline, which would bring carbon intensive oil sands from western Canada to refineries along the U.S. Gulf Coast.
The State Department, responsible for reviewing the project because it crosses an international border, said Friday it determined that building it serves U.S. national interests, citing the importance of Canadian crude in maintaining U.S. energy security and the administration’s goal of improving the country’s energy infrastructure.
“It’s a great day for American jobs and a historic moment for North America and energy independence,” President Donald Trump told reporters in the Oval Office Friday.
The 1,700-mile pipeline, as envisioned, would carry oil from tar sands in Alberta, Canada, passing through Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma. The pipeline would move roughly 800,000 barrels of oil per day, more than one-fifth of the oil Canada exports to the U.S.