Trump Administration Okays Keystone Pipeline

FILE - In this Nov. 3, 2015 file photo, the Keystone Steele City pumping station, into which the planned Keystone XL pipeline is to connect to, is seen in Steele City, Neb. Hacked emails show Hillary Clinton’s campaign wrestled with how to announce her opposition to construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline without losing the support of labor unions that supported to project. Emails published this week by WikiLeaks show debate and confusion within the Clinton camp as it faced down the unexpectedly strong primary challenge by liberal Sen. Bernie Sanders, who opposed the pipeline. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)

Back in 20o9 energy companies TransCanada Corporation and ConocoPhillips received regulatory approval to construct an oil pipeline from Canada to Texas. It was to be conducted in four phases:

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Construction of phases I-III proceeded without objection. Phase IV was studied by the State Department for six years and was eventually approved. But the Obama administration, ever in thrall to Big Green, found bogus objections and refused to grant permits and in November 2015 withdrew the permits. The primary objection was that Canadian crude from the tar sands would increase global warming. If you’ll note from the map, even were that the case, the construction of phases I through III allowed the same oil product to enter the US.

Trump promised during the campaign to allow the Keystone Pipeline to proceed and he has taken a first step:

The Trump administration has granted a permit for construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, according to the company behind the project.

TransCanada, the Calgary-based firm that has been trying to win approval for the pipeline for years, announced Friday morning that the State Department has signed and issued a construction permit for the project.

The move comes two months after Trump, only days into his presidency, signed an executive order aimed at reviving the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines. Both had drawn massive protests and had been stalled by the Obama administration.

In a statement Friday, the State Department said that in reviewing TransCanada’s application in light of Trump’s recent executive order, officials determined that issuing a permit “would serve the national interest.” It said the undersecretary who signed the permit, Thomas A. Shannon Jr., had “considered a range of factors, including but not limited to foreign policy; energy security; environmental, cultural and economic impact; and compliance with applicable law and policy.”

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the former chief executive of ExxonMobil, had recused himself from the decision.

The pipeline still has a long way to go and it will face many legal battles but with the federal government abandoning climate change hokum as a reason for delaying it, it will be very difficult for the environmentalists to dream up enough endangered species and habitats to do more than inflict minor delays.