Trump Gives Green Light To Keystone, Dakota Access Pipelines

 
resident Donald Trump, accompanied by Vice President Mike Pence and staff, shows his signature on an executive order on the Keystone XL pipeline, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington.

resident Donald Trump, accompanied by Vice President Mike Pence and staff, shows his signature on an executive order on the Keystone XL pipeline, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington.

Evan Vucci / AP

President Trump on Tuesday gave the go-ahead for construction of two controversial oil pipelines, the Keystone XL and the Dakota Access, a White House official tells NPR's Tamara Keith.

The pipelines had been stopped during the Obama administration. The State Department rejected a permit for the Keystone pipeline from Canada, and President Obama ordered work halted on the Dakota pipeline after Native American groups and other activists protested its route near culturally sensitive sites in North Dakota.

The new president's actions are likely to reignite the debate over the pipelines; supporters say the pipelines will lead to lower energy costs and create jobs, while environmentalists argue they will lead to the release of more climate-warming carbon into the atmosphere.

In remarks to automakers on Tuesday morning, Trump proclaimed himself an environmentalist, but added, "It's out of control, and we're going to make a very short process, and we're going to either give you your permits or we're not going to give you your permits, but you're going to know very quickly."

Two members of Congress representing Central Illinois backed the president's announcement regarding the Keystone and Dakota Pipelines Tuesday.

"For the last eight years, politics have been put before people when it comes to these projects and the jobs they will create,” said Republican Rodney Davis of Taylorville. “We have an opportunity to bring back energy and manufacturing jobs that have historically provided a better life for middle class Americans and their families. I look forward to working with the administration to advance an all-of-the-above energy strategy.”

Collinsville Republican John Shimkus issued a joint statement with fellow GOP Congressmen Fred Upton (R-Michigan) and Greg Walden (R-Oregon.)

"We welcome today’s news and we’re looking forward to working with a president and an administration that value American energy affordability, jobs, security, and new infrastructure development,” said Walden, Upton, and Shimkus. “It is time for the federal government to stop picking winners and losers in the energy sector.”

Story source: NPR