White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Monday said Trump’s goal was to balance environmental protection and projects that can grow jobs and the economy. Photo: AFP
White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Monday said Trump’s goal was to balance environmental protection and projects that can grow jobs and the economy. Photo: AFP

Donald Trump signs executive orders approving Keystone XL, Dakota pipelines

The moves, taken on Donlad Trump's fourth full day in office, illustrate his plan to fulfil his campaign pledge to give the oil industry more freedom to expand infrastructure

Washington: President Donald Trump took action on Tuesday to advance construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines.

TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL pipeline was rejected under former President Barack Obama, and Energy Transfer Partners LP’s $3.8 billion Dakota Access project was stalled when the Obama administration halted work on in on land near Lake Oahe in North Dakota amid protests by Native American groups.

ALSO READ | Trans-Pacific Partnership nations look to salvage deal after Donald Trump pulls out

The moves, taken on Trump’s fourth full day in office, illustrate his plan to fulfil his campaign pledge to give the oil industry more freedom to expand infrastructure, create jobs and ease transportation bottlenecks.

TransCanada climbed as much as 1.1% to C$63.25 at 9:33 am in New York. Energy Transfer Equity Lp and Energy Transfer Partners Lp climbed as much as 3.3% and 1.7%, respectively.

TransCanada had no immediate comment on the president’s actions and Energy Transfer didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. A spokesman for the Standing Rock tribe that opposes the Dakota project says they’ll comment “if it happens."

ALSO READ | Donald Trump presidency: An era of disdain and disruption

White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Monday said Trump’s goal was to balance environmental protection and projects that can grow jobs and the economy.

TransCanada may need to submit another formal application to build the pipeline. But the company’s plans for Keystone XL already have been vetted, with years of environmental scrutiny culminating in former President Barack Obama’s 2015 decision that the pipeline was not in the US interest.

TransCanada has not said it would reapply for permission to build the pipeline, but the day after Trump’s election, the Calgary-based company said it was looking for ways to convince the new administration of the project’s benefits to the US economy. The company has previously said it remains “committed to Keystone XL."

ALSO READ | Trump’s alternative ethical universe

Environmentalists fiercely battled the project, making it a flashpoint in broader debates about US energy policy and climate change. Landowners in the pipeline’s path warned that a spill of dense crude could contaminate the Ogallala aquifer, a source of drinking water that stretches from Texas to South Dakota. And activists said it would promote further development of oil sands in Alberta, Canada that generally require more energy to extract.

Dakota Access opponents say the pipeline would damage sites culturally significant to Native Americans and pose an environmental hazard where it crosses the Missouri River. Earlier this month, the Department of the Army withheld the final easement necessary for construction beneath the lake. Bloomberg

Close