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Trump Clears Path For Keystone XL And Dakota Access Pipelines

By  Hank Berrien

On Tuesday, President Trump restarted the efforts to complete the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines by imposing a deadline on the government’s environmental review of the pipelines.

TransCanada Corp.’s proposed Keystone XL would transport Alberta oil sands to U.S. refineries.

Trump also continued his protectionist policies; demanding that pipelines built in the United States should use American-made products. He asserted, “If we’re going to build pipelines in the United States, the pipes should be made in the United States.” Roughly half of Keystone XL was going to use American steel, with one-quarter from Canada, and Italy and India providing the rest.

The Obama administration rejected the Keystone proposal in 2015 and had blocked Dakota Access since September. Reuters reported, “TransCanada Corp said it would resubmit an application for a permit for Keystone XL after Trump signed an order saying the company could re-apply. The application will be reviewed by the U.S. State Department, which has 60 days to reach a decision.”

White House spokesman Sean Spicer asserted, “If we’re going to do all these things to expedite these projects that go over or under American soil,” then Trump wants to guarantee American taxpayers get “the best deal possible.”

The documents Trump signed include an executive order designed to expedite “high-priority infrastructure projects.” If a project is designated as such, it will earn swifter reviews, under “expedited procedures and deadlines for completion” of necessary environmental analysis.

Jack Gerard, head of the American Petroleum Institute, celebrated, saying, he was “pleased to see the new direction being taken by this administration to recognize the importance of our nation’s energy infrastructure by restoring the rule of law in the permitting process that’s critical to pipelines and other infrastructure projects.”

Sen. Joe Manchin, (D) West Virginia, echoed, “What this country needs is more jobs, and that is why I have always been a proponent of the Keystone XL Pipeline and was an original cosponsor of legislation approving the Keystone XL Pipeline project. With a majority of Americans in support of the Keystone XL pipeline’s construction, I’m glad we are finally moving forward with this important project.”

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