According to reports, the State Department will approve the needed Keystone pipeline permit before Monday. The decision “comes 16 months after Obama blocked construction of the 1,200-mile pipeline.” From Politico:

Undersecretary for political affairs Tom Shannon plans to sign the pipeline’s cross-border permit on or before Monday, the last day for the 60-day timeline that President Donald Trump ordered in January. Secretary of State and former Exxon Mobil Chief Executive Rex Tillerson recused himself from the process.

The approval, while long expected, will hand Trump a political victory and follows his promise to quickly approve the $8 billion project that developer TransCanada has sought to build for nearly a decade.

The State Department did not confirm the report, but a spokesman told The Hill that the department “will be in compliance with the 60-day requirement” noted in a memo President Donald Trump “signed shortly after taking office.”

The department has to approve the permit since “the pipeline crosses an international pipeline.”

Of course D.C. Republicans approve of the permit, while groups who oppose it have stated they will not back down.

The pipeline began a firestorm when Obama insisted it would not lower gas costs, environmental groups blabbed about climate change, and the EPA insisted it would worsen global warming. Yet, one government report showed “that the project will do little harm to the environment.”

Obama refused to issue a permit to developer TransCanada for the pipeline, “which would carry up to 830,000 barrels of oil each day between the Alberta oil sands to existing pipelines in the United States,” in 2015.

At a rally, Trump told people that he will ask TransCanada to resubmit the application and use American made steel:

“If people want to build pipelines in the United States, they should use American steel and they should build it and create it right here,” Trump said at a Monday rally in Louisville, Ky. “That pipeline is going to be manufactured right here.”

TransCanada has said roughly half of the steel for Keystone XL will come from the U.S. That steel will come from Welspun Tubular in Arkansas, a subsidiary of India-based Welspun Group.

TransCanada will also need permission from Nebraska, which should come in September:

Bold Alliance, a group that has protested the pipeline, is now seeking local residents to file as “intervenors” in the NPSC process in an effort to block route approval, said Jane Kleeb, the group’s president and Nebraska Democrat Party chair.

In addition, the pipeline is likely to encounter delays from landowners in the state unhappy with the company’s use of eminent domain along the route, Kleeb said. TransCanada says 90 percent of landowners along the proposed route have signed voluntary easement approvals, but there are still holdouts.

“We turn to our state, Nebraska, which has been the heart of the KXL resistance for the past seven years,” Kleeb said.

The 2,147-mile pipeline would run from Alberta, Canada, to refineries in Illinois and Texas.


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