US President Donald Trump signed on January 24 Executive Orders to expedite the controversial Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines that have stalled under the Obama Administration. Native American tribes and environmental activists have blocked the projects earlier and promised to fight the decisions through legal action.
“Signing orders to move forward with the construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines in the Oval Office,” Trump tweeted.
The US President’s move is part of a series of Executive Orders and Presidential Memoranda in keeping with his promise to reduce the burden of regulations and expedite high priority energy and infrastructure projects that will create jobs and increase national security, the White House said in a press release.
“With this Presidential Memorandum, President Trump will help fulfill the campaign promise of initiating the process for approving the Keystone XL Pipeline,” the White House said.
The Keystone XL Pipeline is a 1,770-kilometre crude oil pipeline to connect oil production in Alberta, Canada to refineries in the United States.
The Trump Administration claimed that construction and operation of the Keystone XL Pipeline, as well as oil production and refining activities related to it, would create tens of thousands of jobs for American workers, enhance the country’s energy security, support affordable and reliable energy for American families, and generate significant State and local tax revenues that can be invested in schools, hospitals, and infrastructure.
Trump also directed the relevant Federal agencies, including the Army Corps of Engineers, to expedite reviews and approvals for the remaining portions of the Dakota Access Pipeline, a $3.8 billion, 1,770-kilometre pipeline designed to carry around 500,000 barrels per day of crude oil from the Bakken and Three Forks oil production areas in North Dakota to oil markets in the US.
The White House noted that at this time, DAPL is more than 90% complete across its entire route. “Only a limited stretch of the project is not yet constructed. Timely review and approval of energy pipelines is critical to a strong economy, energy independence, and national security,” the White House claimed.
Trump also directed the Secretary of Commerce, in consultation with all relevant executive departments and agencies, to develop a plan under which all new pipelines, as well as retrofitted, repaired, or expanded pipelines, inside US borders, including portions of pipelines, use materials and equipment produced in the US, to the maximum extent possible and to the extent permitted by law, the White House said.