Trump approves Keystone XL, calling it 'great day' for jobs

Brittany BishopMar 29, 2017

Since then, the controversial project had undergone a series of reviews, environmental impact statements and a political gauntlet that led former President Barack Obama to refer to the pipeline as a "campaign cudgel" in rejecting the permit in November 2015. Jane Kleeb, director of pipeline opponent Bold Alliance, told the Omaha World-Herald on Friday that Trump turned his back on American landowners to benefit a foreign oil pipeline and risked the state's land and water.

"The world simply can not afford to transport or burn the Canadian tar sands if we hope to have any chance at avoiding catastrophic climate change", Leonard said. "We also recognize the USA has as a top priority securing stable, reliable sources for their energy". Once the construction is complete, the project will require approximately 50 total employees in the US, 35 permanent employees and 15 temporary contractors, according to the report.

"Today, we take one more step towards putting the jobs, wages and economic security of American citizens first", the president said. The president also directed the State Department to determine within 60 days whether the pipeline is in the national interest.

Obama in 2015 rejected the pipeline after years of study, saying it would undercut US credibility in the worldwide climate change negotiations that culminated later that year in a global deal in Paris. The State Department, in reviewing it, had indicated that it would have no impact on carbon emissions.

The State Department reached the opposite conclusion two years ago.

TransCanada first applied for a permit in 2008.

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

Those critical of the decision, however, have said it's possible other countries will look at the US taking climate change action less seriously and reduce their own ambitions. The pipeline would move roughly 800,000 barrels of oil per day, more than one-fifth of the oil Canada exports to the U.S.

Although portions of Keystone are already built, it still faces obstacles to completion. Completing it required a permit to cross from Canada into the U.S.

Environmental groups like the Sierra Club won't be giving up on the fight.

TransCanada said Friday it would continue engaging with "neighbors throughout Nebraska, Montana and South Dakota to obtain the necessary permits and approvals to advance this project to construction".

Pipeline opponents, bolstered by the unity they found while opposing Dakota Access, will likely work to fight the pipeline in various locations along the route, he said.

Canadian Natural Resource Minister Jim Carr said the Canadian government is pleased with the decision. The US imports almost half of the almost 8 million barrels a day of crude from Canada. "This is all going to make the the economy of oil and gas development in Alberta more compelling, and ultimately more attractive to investors". "Canada is that source", Carr said.

It's a great day for American jobs and a historic moment for North American and energy independence.

Mr. Trump has predicted that Keystone and a smaller pipeline project, the Dakota Access pipeline, would create 28,000 jobs in the U.S. Job projections have varied considerably.

In a video on the company website, Girling said the pipeline is needed because North America needs oil so badly that it will continue to import crude "for years to come".

Justin Bouchard at Desjardins Capital Markets said TransCanada can still expect a number of hurdles, including on the regulatory side, but also legal battles and protests from those opposed to the project.

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