Exclusive: Trump to approve Keystone XL
at meeting with TransCanada CEO - official
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[March 24, 2017]
By Luciana Lopez
(Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump
will announce the approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline at the White
House on Friday, alongside the chief executive officer of builder
TransCanada Corp, according to a senior administration official.
The pipeline linking Canadian oil sands to U.S. refiners had been
blocked by former President Barack Obama, who said the pipeline would do
nothing to reduce fuel prices for U.S. motorists and would contribute
emissions linked to global warming.
Trump signed an executive order to advance the project soon after taking
office in January, saying it would create thousands of jobs.
The administration official said that among those scheduled to be at the
White House for the 10:15 a.m. EDT announcement are TransCanada Chief
Executive Russell Girling and Sean McGarvey, president of North
America's Building Trades Unions.
Expedited approval of projects is part of Trump's approach for a
10-year, $1 trillion infrastructure package he promised on the campaign
trail. The White House is looking for ways to speed up approvals and
permits for infrastructure projects, which can sometimes take years to
go through the maze of regulatory requirements.
"It does fit into the overall strategy the president has for
infrastructure," the official said.
The multibillion-dollar Keystone pipeline would bring more than 800,000
barrels per day of heavy crude from Canada's oil sands in Alberta into
Nebraska, linking to an existing pipeline network feeding U.S.
refineries and ports along the Gulf of Mexico.
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A depot used to store pipes for Transcanada Corp's planned Keystone
XL oil pipeline is seen in Gascoyne, North Dakota, January 25, 2017.
Approvals are still needed from state regulators, and the pipeline
could face legal challenges.
Conservatives have said they support quick approval. Nick Loris, an
energy and environment researcher at the Heritage Foundation, said
on Thursday that approval would "re-establish some certainty and
sanity to a permitting process that was hijacked by political
Environmental groups that have opposed the pipeline have said they
will continue the fight with petitions, political pressure and mass
(Reporting by Luciana Lopez in New York; Additional reporting by
Valerie Volcovici in Washington; Editing by Peter Cooney)
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