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Trump Administration Issues Official Keystone Pipeline Permits

by Countable | 8.7.17

The State Department announced it has issued official permits to the TransCanada company to "construct, connect, operate, and maintain" the Keystone XL pipeline. The controversial project will funnel “heavy tar sands” across the US-Canada border in Montana, south to the Gulf of Mexico, for refining.

The previous administration, under President Barack Obama, denied permits for the project, citing environmental concerns. But President Trump supports the pipeline project, reviving it just days after he took office. Now that a required 60-day review and comment period has passed, The State Department issued the permit, along with its findings.

"Having weighed multiple policy considerations, the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs finds that, at this time, the proposed Project’s potential to bolster U.S. energy security by providing additional infrastructure for the dependable supply of crude oil, its role in supporting, directly and indirectly, a significant number of U.S. jobs and provide increased revenues to local communities that will bolster the U.S. economy, its ability to reinforce our bilateral relationship with Canada, and its limited impact on other factors considered by the Department, all contribute to a determination that issuance of a Presidential permit for this proposed Project serves the national interest."

Experts are split about the effect the project may have on the US economy; while it is expected to create thousands of construction jobs in the near term, most would disappear after the pipeline is completed.

The global oil market has changed significantly since the project was initiated in 2012. Domestic markets have rebounded. Oil resource discovery and investment in Texas and Alaska, as well as projects in the Gulf of Mexico delayed by the 2010 BP oil spill, are expected to provide a surplus of oil for years to come. At the same time, several South American countries have opened up significant new production, making Canada’s place on the world market less significant.

But the future of global oil supplies has never been the sole driver for the project. Political, economic, environmental and diplomatic concerns jockey for the top spot.

Once the pipeline enters the United States it will traverse three states- Montana, South Dakota, and Nebraska. In Nebraska it would connect to existing pipelines to transport the crude the rest of the way to the Gulf. The greatest opposition leading up to Obama’s decision in 2015 came in Nebraska, from landowners and environmental activists concerned for potential damage to the massive Ogallala aquifer and fragile Sand Hills region. The pipeline’s projected course has been moved east of the Sand Hills, but company officials have still submitted an application to Nebraska’s Public Service Commission. Approval is necessary for construction and allows the company to use eminent domain laws if landowners refuse to give way to the pipeline construction. TransCanada is also seeking similar approvals in Montana and South Dakota.

Tell your legislators what you think about renewed approvals for the Keystone XL pipeline. Take action now!

— Asha Sanaker

(Photo Credit: )

Countable

Written by Countable

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(2,279)
  • Alexis
    03/26/2017
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    The United States must lead the world in moving toward sustainable and renewable energy sources. We should be spending our tax dollars on wind, solar, and hydroelectric- keep the dirty oil in the ground where it won't pollute our environment and negatively impact the health and well being of American citizens. We should also be focusing money on updating our outdated infrastructure across the United States. Water is life.

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  • Brian
    03/26/2017
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    Please use any and all resources you have to stop this insane corporate handout. Why are we subsidizing a Canadian company? Why are we endangering our water ways? Why are we pretending this adds sustained jobs? Why are we ok with displacing everyday citizens to perpetuate an energy source we need to be weening ourselves off of? Ask yourself these questions please. And answer them with the understanding that your job is to protect and serve your constituents. Thank you.

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  • Lina
    03/26/2017
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    The Keystone XL pipeline is environmentally hazardous, estimated to generate ONLY 35 permanent jobs, and will not help the poor or middle class in this country. Let Canada ship their oil to market through Canada. We need to be forward looking and push our nation to renewable, sustainable energy sources.

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  • Aubrey
    03/25/2017
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    Vote no on KXL. Bad for Montana's environment, bad for our Ag workers, and possess too big of a risk to our water supplies.

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  • Nikki
    03/27/2017
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    Pursuing this pipeline is short-sighted and misguided. Invest in RENEWABLE energy.

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  • UNIDOC
    03/25/2017
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    This is terrible legislation. We need to stop kowtowing to outmoded energy models and start moving towards more sustainable and eco-friendly energy solutions.

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  • Caleb
    03/28/2017
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    Our nation's treatment of its native people is our first, and one of our greatest, shames. I would ask that you not be complicit in the continued mistreatment, abuse, and degradation of these people groups by means of the Keystone Pipeline.

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  • Nancy
    03/25/2017
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    Stop this! Have some respect for this continent 's original inhabitants!

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  • Eva
    03/25/2017
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    Please vote against this. We have to preserve our land.

    Like (16)
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  • Kim
    03/25/2017
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    It is terribly short-sighted to put financial benefits over our environment. Please protect it.

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  • Robert
    03/25/2017
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    The Keystone Pipeline is sure to crack and spill oil all over.

    Like (14)
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  • Deborah
    03/25/2017
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    The keystone pipeline is a failure. It will provide only temporary jobs, it will provide more oil for export than for our use and it has potentially catastrophic effects on our most precious resource, clean water. I am completely against it

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  • Judy
    03/25/2017
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    I think that no more pipelines be built until all of the leaks are fixed at the builders expense.

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  • Steve
    03/27/2017
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    The trade off of 4000 sum TEMPORARY jobs versus the profits from this pipeline (which are not the USA's) are not worth the risk to Americas environment! Frankly no pipeline is. We as a nation need to get off the fossil fuels tit!

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  • Joy
    03/25/2017
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    This pipeline is a bad idea. Stop it. Listen to what the American people want. Last time I checked, we pay your salary.

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  • Kevin
    03/25/2017
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    Why are we risking our environmental safety and health to transport fossil fuels across our nation. This is disgusting. Invest in solar, wind and hydro power.

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  • Nancy
    03/26/2017
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    Vote no on this. I don't understand why common ground and a solution that considers the environment and locals concerns can't be found

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  • JaredThePoet
    03/25/2017
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    This is disrespectful to the Sioux and harmful to the environment. The positives are minuscule in comparison to the negatives. This administration has been atrocious when it comes to the environment and the EPA.

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  • Michelle
    03/25/2017
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    No pipeline!!

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  • Yaneth
    03/25/2017
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    The Climate is changing so Billionaires can become Trillionaires. WHY is it permissible to ignored scientist when it's CONVENIENT !

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