Trump signs orders to advance controversial Keystone XL, Dakota Access oil pipelines – by Julie Pace (Associated Press/Toronto Star – January 24, 2017)

https://www.thestar.com/

WASHINGTON—U.S. President Donald Trump has signed executive actions to advance the construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines. The move is expected to be cheered by Republicans and some union groups who backed the projects.

Former President Barack Obama stopped the proposed Keystone XL pipeline in late 2015, declaring it would have undercut U.S. efforts to clinch a global climate change deal that was a centerpiece of his environmental legacy.

The pipeline would have carried almost one-quarter of Canada’s oil exports to U.S. refineries in the Gulf Coast. The U.S. government needed to approve the pipeline because it crossed the border.

Separately, late last year, the Army Corps of Engineers declined to allow construction of the Dakota Access pipeline under Lake Oahe, saying alternative routes needed to be considered. The Standing Rock Sioux tribe and its supporters say the project threatens drinking water and Native American sites, though Energy Transfer Partners, the company that wants to build the pipeline, disputes that and says the pipeline will be safe.

The pipeline is to carry North Dakota oil through South Dakota and Iowa to a shipping point in Illinois. The person with knowledge of Trump’s decisions insisted on anonymity because that person was not authorized to confirm the moves ahead of a formal announcement.

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