WASHINGTON, Jan. 26, 2017 - President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed executive actions that could pave the way for construction of two controversial pipelines that had been held up by the Obama White House.
Trump signed two separate orders: one addressing the Keystone XL pipeline, the other, the Dakota Access pipeline. Both had been stalled by Obama administration action that either denied construction permits or called for a reroute.
Trump said at Tuesday’s signing ceremony that the Keystone XL order “is subject to a renegotiation of terms by us. We are going to renegotiate some of the terms. And then if they like, we’ll see if we can get that pipeline built.”
Reaction to the news fell along predictable lines: Those previously in favor of the projects cheered, while those previously opposed jeered.
American Petroleum Institute CEO Jack Gerard said in a statement that he welcomed the “new direction” taken by the administration. “Critical energy infrastructure projects like the Keystone XL and the Dakota Access pipelines will help deliver energy to American consumers and businesses safely and efficiently,” Gerard said.
Karen Harbert, CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy, said Trump’s orders “demonstrate that we finally have an administration that is serious about putting American energy to work for the entire economy.”
Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch, was disappointed in the news. She said that “at a time when our country must be turning decisively away from polluting fossil fuels, Trump seeks to double-down on them, for the sake of enriching his billionaire friends and cabinet nominees who are deeply entrenched in the industry.”
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