Donald Trump gives the green light to 'incredible' Keystone XL pipeline

Trump now occupies the White House, but that pressure has hardly gone away.

Trump announced the presidential permit for Keystone XL at the White House with Girling and Sean McGarvey, president of North America's Building Trades Unions, standing nearby.

In January 2016, TransCanada initiated legal proceedings that involved filing a NAFTA claim in which it sought to claw back more than $15 billion in costs and damages after the pipeline's rejection. Jack Gerard, president and chief executive of the American Petroleum Institute, the primary industry lobbying arm, said the decision was "welcome news" and was "critical to creating American jobs, growing the economy and making our nation more energy secure".

The US State Department issued a permit Friday authorizing energy infrastructure firm TransCanada to build the Keystone XL Pipeline.

"The fact is that this Dollars 8 billion investment in American energy was delayed for so long, it demonstrates how our government has too often failed its citizens and companies over the past long period of time", he added.

The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission a year ago voted to accept pipeline developer TransCanada Corp.'s guarantee that it would meet all conditions laid out by the commission when it approved that state's portion of the project in 2010.

Protesters intend to stop the project.

"We never question the jobs that this could bring and how important that is to folks that are in the pipeline construction business". TransCanada still does not have deals with all the landowners there and it lacks a state permit.

"TransCanada will continue to engage key stakeholders and neighbors throughout Nebraska, Montana and South Dakota to obtain the necessary permits and approvals to advance this project to construction", the company said in a statement Friday.

The decision will "serve the national interest," based on "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", Shannon said. The presidential permit comes almost a decade after Calgary, Alberta-based TransCanada applied to build the $8 billion pipeline.

But opponents dispute that broad finding. The pipeline had stalled under the Obama administration, which had said the pipeline would do nothing to reduce fuel prices for US motorists and would contribute emissions linked to global warming. "I don't think it would have ever gotten done", Trump said on Friday.

Republicans had repeatedly promised to reverse Obama's decision.

TransCanada insisted Keystone "is not an export pipeline".

Robin Martinez, an attorney for conservation and family agriculture group Dakota Rural Action, said it appears the federal government is going to be backing off regulatory oversight, which puts the burden back on the states and heightens the Public Utilities Commission's role.

"We note that KXL is not included in our valuation for the stock and if the project moves forward, we view that as upside". The 60-day timeline in Trump's executive order was to expire Monday.

Fred Jauss, a partner at worldwide law firm Dorsey & Whitney, said the presidential permit only grants permission to build the pipeline right at the border, and the company will still need to navigate a web of federal, state level and even local planning boards.

  • Zachary Reyes