Trump announces presidential permit for Keystone XL pipeline

Facing pressure from environmental groups, President Barack Obama vetoed legislation that would have approved the project in February 2015.

Supporters of the pipeline say that the construction project will bolster job development in the United States.

"It's going to be an incredible pipeline", the president added.

The approval fulfills a major campaign promise of Trump's and a top priority that congressional Republicans and the oil industry have had for years.

"It's a great day for American jobs and a historic moment for North America and energy independence", Trump said, standing alongside TransCanada's CEO in the Oval Office.

The Calgary-based firm first applied for a permit in 2008 seeking to build the 1,897km (1,179-mile) pipeline, which would carry 800,000 barrels of crude a day from Alberta to Steele City, in Nebraska. Thune says he's glad Trump took quick action to approve the "critical infrastructure project". Kinder Morgan is moving ahead with an expansion to its Trans Mountain oil pipeline system to Vancouver, a project that could be completed by December 2019. The Canadian oil that would flow through the pipeline is considered among the dirtiest types of crude.

President Obama's strong opposition to the pipeline partially stemmed from the fact that the pipeline directly contradicted his Clean Power Plan to bring more renewable low carbon emission power into the country. Ninety-seven percent of Canada's oil exports go to the U.S.

President Trump announces the final approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. "This project is going to support almost 6,000 jobs during construction and over 400 full-time jobs in Alberta, while also providing access to new and existing USA markets".

"That's something often that's overlooked in new projects like this, is local communities benefit greatly from these projects", Girling said in the White House comments. Environmental groups have forcefully opposed the pipeline.

Trump boasted as recently as this week that Keystone would be built with American steel, which he has required for new or expanded pipelines.

Portions of Keystone have already been built. The USD 8-billion project would connect Alberta's massive tar sands crude with pipelines and refineries on the Texas gulf coast that are particularly well-suited to handling the thick oil. Trump concurred, saying: "I think it's a lot safer to have pipelines than to use other forms of transportation for your product".

The announcement by the State Department reversed the position of the Obama administration.

  • Zachary Reyes