Trump Greenlights 2 Controversial Pipelines

Keystone and Dakota Access can move forward again
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 24, 2017 11:25 AM CST
Trump Greenlights 2 Controversial Pipelines
This Sept. 29, 2016, photo, shows a section of the Dakota Access Pipeline under construction near the town of St. Anthony in Morton County, N.D.   (Tom Stromme/The Bismarck Tribune via AP, File)

Two controversial pipelines stopped by the Obama administration just got revived by the Trump administration. The president signed executive actions Tuesday to advance construction on the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, reports the Hill. The moves do not equate to final approval, and the next steps are a little unclear. Both projects may need to be formally re-submitted, and they will still face tough fights from opposition lawmakers, environmentalists, and, in the case of the Dakota pipeline, Native American protesters. What's more, the agreements for both will have to be renegotiated, reports the AP. Trump, for instance, wants all the material for the pipelines to come from the US, a provision that will likely be tough to enforce.

"This is not a done deal," says Bill McKibben, founder of the anti-Keystone group, per the New York Times. "The last time around, TransCanada was so confident they literally mowed the strip where they planned to build the pipeline, before people power stopped them. People will mobilize again." Still, TransCanada shares were climbing on the news, as were those for Energy Transfer Partners LP, which is behind the Dakota project, notes Bloomberg. Before signing the orders, Trump met with auto industry leaders and said environmental regulations were "out of control." He said it was "absolutely crazy" that it takes so long for permits to be granted. "I am, to a large extent, an environmentalist," he said, per Politico. "I believe in it. But it’s out of control." (More TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline stories.)

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