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article imageU.S. set to approve Keystone XL pipeline on Friday

By Karen Graham     Mar 23, 2017 in Politics
The Trump administration will approve the Keystone XL pipeline on Friday, according to key administration officials, opening the way for the White House to grant a presidential permit to TransCanada to build the $8 billion pipeline.
According to CBC Canada, the Associated Press cited two unnamed sources who said that Tom Shannon, the undersecretary of the State Department, will issue the approval tomorrow.
This move will clear the way for the White House to issue a presidential permit. Press Secretary Sean Spicer has said he would provide details on the pipeline on Friday. We do know the State Department will recommend the pipeline as being in the best interests of the U.S.
Politico had said earlier that the pipeline approval would come on Monday which would have been the final day of the 60-day period set in motion by President Trump in January when he issued an executive order that invited Calgary-based TransCanada to resubmit an application for approval to build the pipeline across the U.S.-Canada border.
The Keystone XL pipeline
The Keystone XL pipeline
, AFP
The presidential order also stipulated the U.S. State Department U.S. "take all actions necessary and appropriate to facilitate its expeditious review." This is, of course, a sharp reversal of President Obama's rejection of the pipeline under the premise it did not serve the best interests of the nation.
The White House declined to comment and State Department spokesman Mark Toner told the Associated Press he would not reveal the decision, saying the agency had re-examined its decision "thoroughly" after ruling against it just two years ago.
"We're looking at new factors," Toner said. "I don't want to speak to those until we've reached a decision or conclusion."
US President Barack Obama speaks on the Keystone XL pipeline  flanked by Secretary of State John Ker...
US President Barack Obama speaks on the Keystone XL pipeline, flanked by Secretary of State John Kerry (R), and Vice President Joe Biden, on November 6, 2015 in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC
Mandel Ngan, AFP
The 1,900 kilometer (1,181 miles) long pipeline will carry oil from the tar sands in Alberta, Canada, to Houston-area refineries, passing through Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma. Environmentalist groups object to the pipeline because of fears it encourages the use of dirty energy sources.
"We do anticipate a decision by the State Department during the 60 days they have been given," TransCanada spokesman Terry Cunha told CBC News in an email statement. "At the moment, we continue to work with the administration on our presidential permit application."
TransCanada will still need to get approval from the state of Nebraska as well as landowners in the state before it does any construction, and that approval, if it comes, is not expected until September this year.
More about keystone xl pipeline, Trump administration, State department, Nebraskaapproval, Environmentalists
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