Trump issues updated presidential permit for Keystone XL pipeline

President Donald J. Trump issued an updated presidential permit for the proposed Keystone XL crude oil pipeline on Mar. 29. The move was seen as an attempt to jump-start the project’s construction after a federal judge in Montana blocked it in November and ordered further environmental reviews.

Mar 29th, 2019

President Donald J. Trump issued an updated presidential permit for the proposed Keystone XL crude oil pipeline on Mar. 29. The move was seen as an attempt to jump-start the project’s construction after a federal judge in Montana blocked it in November and ordered further environmental reviews (OGJ Online, Nov. 9, 2018). US District Judge Brian Morris modified, but did not rescind, his order a few months later (OGJ Online, Feb. 18, 2019).

“This permit acknowledges the project’s importance to the White House once again, and the steps TransCanada Corp., the project’s sponsor, has taken over the years,” a Washington energy observer said. “But there is an injunction still in place which halts construction. The steps from here regarding that injunction depend on what steps the US Department of Justice and TransCanada want to take.”

Business and labor organizations welcomed the president’s action. “The Keystone XL pipeline is one of the most studied pieces of infrastructure in American history. Over the course of a decade, it has been through five environmental reviews on the main route and an additional two on an alternative route,” said Christopher Guith, acting president of the US Chamber of Commerce’s Global Energy Institute.

“Keystone XL is in our economic and energy security interests, and review after review have found that it can be built and operated in an environmentally responsible way. It’s time to move forward,” he maintained.

“In issuing this critical permit, President Trump has given a green light for job creation,” National Association of Manufacturers Pres. Jay Timmons said.

Building the 830,000 b/d, 36-in. heavy crude system from Hardisty, Alta., to Steele City, Neb., will put thousands of Americans to work, inject billions of dollars into the domestic economy, and enhance US national security with a safe, reliable source of energy, he continued. “It is an indisputable win for the American people and for the men and women who will manufacture the components of this significant project,” Timmons said.

The Laborers International Union of North America has long championed the project because of its game-changing impacts on the US work force, the domestic economy, and US energy security, LIUNA General Pres. Terry O’Sullivan declared. “This will unlock good, family-supporting jobs for American union workers, so we’re celebrating today’s decision,” he said.

“This permit is long past due. For more than a decade, America’s building trades have waited for this pipeline to move forward to put our members to work to strengthen America’s energy and national security,” observe North America’s Building Trades Unions Pres. Sean McGarvey.

“Labor and business alike agree that this project is vital to our national interest, and it has been carefully analyzed and studied. The nation can now rest assured knowing that America’s energy will be built with and delivered through the safest and most environmentally stringent infrastructure,” he said.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com

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