The Keystone XL pipeline has been given the green light by the Trump administration, officials of the company seeking to build the pipeline announced Friday.
“This is a significant milestone for the Keystone XL project,” said Russ Girling, president and CEO of TransCanada, which has been trying to gain U.S. approval for the pipeline for several years.
“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,” Girling said.
The State Department says that it determined that building Keystone serves the U.S. national interest. That’s the opposite conclusion to the one the State Department reached during the Obama administration, Fox News reports.
The State Department says it considered foreign policy and energy security in making the determination.
The permit was signed by Tom Shannon Jr., a career diplomat serving as undersecretary of state for political affairs. That’s because Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recused himself due to his previous work running Exxon Mobil.
Shannon had “considered a range of factors, including but not limited to foreign policy; energy security; environmental, cultural and economic impact; and compliance with applicable law and policy” in granting the permit, the State Department said.
Keystone will carry tar sands oil from Canada to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast.
Western Journalism reports that TransCanada still needs to gain approval from the Nebraska’s Public Service Commission for both construction and possible eminent domain use. The company has said it already has agreements for 90 percent of the pipeline’s route but that it will “continue to engage key stakeholders and neighbors throughout Nebraska, Montana and South Dakota to obtain the necessary permits and approvals to advance this project to construction.”
Reactions to the permit were divided.
“After many years of unfortunate delays and partisan posturing, Keystone XL pipeline finally got the green light it has long deserved,” president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Thomas Donohue said in a statement. “This pipeline, and countless other projects around the nation, will improve America’s energy security, create jobs and help get the economy back on track.”
Annie Leonard, the executive director of Greenpeace USA, attacked the permit.
“The Trump administration may be furiously propping up an obsolete energy system at the behest of his fossil fuel cronies,” she said in a statement.
Expect resistance from the left, as usual.