US President Donald Trump administration approves controversial Keystone pipeline

March 24, 2017 2:36 pm

U.S President (L) and HHS Secretary Tom Price leave a House Republican closed party conference on Capitol Hill, on March 21, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by AFP)

The Trump administration has issued a permit authorizing construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline across the border, clearing a major hurdle for the project that former President Barack Obama rejected in 2015.
The US State Department issued the permit on Friday morning, two months after President Trump signed an executive order to resume the construction of the pipeline.
“In making his determination that issuance of this permit would serve the national interest, the under secretary [Tom Shannon] considered a range of factors, including but not limited to foreign policy; energy security; environmental, cultural, and economic impacts; and compliance with applicable law and policy,” the department said.
Canada-based TransCanada Corporation, Keystone’s developer, also announced on Friday morning that it received the State Department’s permit for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline linking Canadian oil sands to US refiners.
“This is a significant milestone for the Keystone XL project,” Russ Girling, the president of TransCanada, said in a statement. “We greatly appreciate President Trump’s Administration for reviewing and approving this important initiative and we look forward to working with them as we continue to invest in and strengthen North America’s energy infrastructure.”
The Keystone XL pipeline is part of an oil pipeline system in Canada and that was commissioned in 2010.
It runs from Alberta, Canada to refineries in Illinois and Texas, and also to oil tank farms and oil pipeline distribution centers in Oklahoma.
Activists have staged various protests in Canada and the US against the Keystone project, which they say harms the environment.  
Various environmental groups, citizens, and politicians have raised concerns about the potential negative impacts of the oil pipeline, mainly the risk of oil spills along the pipeline’s route.
The State Department’s approval of the multibillion-dollar pipeline delivers a big blow to environmental groups, and a major victory to Republicans, who had championed the pipeline as a jobs creator.
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