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 the 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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