Debate renewed over economic benefits of Keystone pipeline

Miranda GreerMar 26, 2017

On Friday morning, the Trump administration granted approval for the Keystone XL pipeline, a controversial oil project that had been halted under President Barack Obama after years of grassroots protest and fierce opposition from climate activists.

Gerard argued that this project "has been studied longer than any pipeline project in USA history with exhaustive reviews by the State Department concluding that the project is safe for the environment and the best option for transporting domestic crude and Canadian oil to u.s. refineries" and strongly urged the individual states involved to approve the pipeline. The $8 billion project has been the subject of a years-long fight between environmental advocates and those who claim the pipeline will create much-needed new jobs. The Sierra Club's executive director, Michael Brune, wrote on the organization's Twitter page that the pipeline is "one of the worst deals imaginable for the American people, so of course Donald Trump supports it".

TransCanada applied to the Nebraska Public Service Commission in February for approval of the pipeline's route through the state.

Keystone XL is one of several ongoing pipeline projects meant to carry oil from Alberta to refineries and global markets; it would carry more than one-fifth of the oil Canada exports to the USA, transporting it to refineries on the Gulf of Mexico.

In the long run the pipeline will have a positive ripple effect for oil production.

Environmentalists have said the project would be an environmental and climate change disaster.

Environmentalists have consistently slammed Trump's stance on the Keystone XL pipeline.

The State Department was formally responsible for the permit TransCanada was given to construct a line that crosses the USA border. Some analysts think only two of the three pipelines will get built. And then if they like, we'll see if we can get that pipeline built.

"Trump has gone back on his promise to use American-made steel because he exempted Keystone XL, so this would be using foreign steel to be constructed", said Hayes.

Mr. Obama in 2015 rejected the pipeline after years of study, saying it would undercut USA credibility in the worldwide climate change negotiations that culminated later that year in a global deal in Paris. In the company's application for a presidential permit, they said the USA would see "significant employment benefits" as a result of the pipeline.

"The Presidential Permit is only one part of a web of federal, state, and local permits that must be obtained prior to starting construction", he said.

"This is a significant milestone for the Keystone XL project", said Russ Girling, TransCanada's CEO, in a statement.

Canadian oil sands will hook up with USA refiners thanks to the move. Enbridge also received approval for the replacement and overhaul of its Line 3 pipeline from Alberta to Wisconsin in the United States.

To be sure, Trump's decision is a win for Republicans, like Speaker Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, who has hailed Trump's approval of the project. "And we will continue to resist Trump's pro-polluter agenda at every turn, while working hard to make real progress against the harms of fossil fuels in communities big and small throughout the country".

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