May 2019, Vol. 246, No. 5


Trump Signs New Permission for Keystone XL Pipeline

U.S. President Donald Trump signed a new permission for TransCanada Corp to build the Keystone pipeline for imports of Canadian oil, replacing his previous permits in an effort side step the blocking of the project by a Montana court.

In issuing the executive order, Trump revoked a previous permit for the pipeline issued in March 2017 and an executive order approving the project he issued two days after taking office in January that same year.

According to Reuters, it was not immediately clear whether under the new approval of the pipeline, which would carry 800,000 bpd of crude from Canada’s oil sands to refineries along the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, would have to undergo extensive new environmental reviews.

The Keystone XL pipeline has been pending for more than a decade after environmental reviews and after former President Barack Obama rejected the project saying it would do little to benefit U.S. motorists and would contribute to global warming.

Russ Girling, TransCanada’s president and chief executive officer, said in a release that 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.”

The pipeline faced numerous legal hurdles after several environmental groups sued the U.S. government over the 2017 presidential permit, and Keystone has been held up in the courts, most recently in Montana.

Judge Brian Morris of the U.S. District Court for Montana blocked construction of the pipeline in November last year.

Morris wrote in his ruling that a U.S. State Department environmental analysis “fell short of a ‘hard look’” at the cumulative effects of greenhouse gas emissions and the effect on Native American land resources. P&GJ

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