Trump Gives Go Ahead for Keystone XL Pipeline

The Trump administration has given a federal permit to the Keystone XL pipeline project after former President Barack Obama rejected it just two years ago.

On Friday morning, the U.S. State Department announced the issuance of the permit to TransCanada to build the pipeline, saying that it would “serve the national interest” to do so.

The decision marks an about-face from the Obama administration, which came to the opposite conclusion.

President Donald Trump is scheduled to officially announce the permit later Friday.

Russ Girling, president of TransCanada, called the permit a “significant milestone” in the years-long project.

“We greatly appreciate President Trump’s administration for reviewing and approving this important initiative and we look forward to working with them as we continue to invest in and strengthen North America’s energy infrastructure,” said Girling.

The pipeline will carry Canadian tar sand oil to refineries along the U.S. Gulf Coast.

In September, the Obama administration temporarily blocked construction of the pipeline in hopes of conducting a review of the project, but a federal court later ruled the project could continue.

The 1,700-mile-long pipeline is designed to transport up to 830,000 barrels per day of tar sand oil from Alberta, Canada, to Nebraska, where it would then enter existing pipelines to the Gulf Coast refineries.

The pipeline construction has created controversy among Native Americans and activist groups, who spent months protesting the project out of fears it will pollute local water supplies.

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