State Dept. to approve Keystone pipeline permit
The Trump administration is set to approve the Keystone XL pipeline project Monday, according to a senior USA official.
One U.S. government source familiar with the process said on Thursday the State Department was working to get the approval done before Monday, the end of the 60-day timeline under Trump's January executive order for the construction of Keystone and the Dakota Access pipelines.
The Obama administration rejected the Keystone XL pipeline in late 2015 after seven years of review, arguing it would tarnish the U.S.'s reputation as a leader on reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
Greenpeace is asking the State Department to provide documentation about the justification for Tillerson's recusal and any waivers obtained or requested.
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The multi-billion dollar Keystone pipeline would bring more than 800,000 barrels-per-day of heavy crude from Canada's oil sands to USA refineries and ports along the Gulf of Mexico, via an existing pipeline network in Nebraska.
Although TransCanada might have secured the permit, POLITICO noted that the company still needs approval from the Nebraska Public Service Commission to build the pipeline through the state. The pipeline's opponents contend the jobs will be minimal and short-lived, and say the pipeline won't help the US with energy needs because the oil is destined for export. In one of his first acts as president, he invited pipeline company TransCanada to resubmit the application to construct and operate the pipeline. This move will clear the way for the White House to issue a presidential permit.
Shannon, America's top career diplomat, is making his agency's recommendation because Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recused himself from the matter. Native American members of Ms. Anderson's group will argue that members of the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska have an interest because the pipeline could cross an historic route known as the Ponca Trail of Tears, Ms. Anderson said. Democrats and Environmentalists opposed the project, sparking years of protests and political lobbying to kill the project.
In rejecting Keystone, the Obama administration argued it would undercut USA efforts to clinch a global climate change deal that was reached weeks later in Paris. The Trump administration has dropped fighting climate change as a priority, leaving open the possibility of pulling out of the Paris deal.
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