The Donald Trump administration has given the green light for construction to begin on the Keystone XL Pipeline. TransCanada, the firm that will be heading up the pipeline’s development, was awarded a construction permit by the State Department and will begin work shortly.
Both the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines have received their fair share of controversy. President Obama halted the projects near the end of his final term, and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe filed legal challenges regarding Dakota Access, but Trump put a kibosh on those attempts by signing an executive order shortly after entering the White House to revive the projects. And it looks like construction will start. Tom Shannon, the State Department’s undersecretary, issued the construction permit to TransCanada and said building the pipelines will only help the country:
“In making his determination that issuance of this permit would serve the national interest, the Under Secretary considered a range of factors, including but not limited to foreign policy; energy security; environmental, cultural, and economic impacts; and compliance with applicable law and policy.”
The Post notes that TransCanada filed for approval from Nebraska’s Public Service Commission, which is a necessary step to build the pipeline on private property in cases of eminent domain. So far, the firm has agreements for 90 percent of its building route that spans across three states (Montana, South Dakota, and Nebraska).