WASHINGTON – President Trump signed executive orders Tuesday breathing new life into the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines, saying the “regulatory process in this country has become a tangled-up mess.”
Signing the executive order related to the Dakota Access Pipeline, Trump said the pipeline completion would be “subject to terms and conditions to be negotiated by us.”
Plans for the Dakota pipeline have it running from North Dakota to Illinois while spanning also South Dakota and Iowa. It has been embroiled in controversy and protests due to its crossing of the Missouri River. President Obama blocked construction of part of it last year.
The Keystone pipeline is set to run from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico but has not been completed. Obama rejected it in 2015.
Trump’s actions put the projects back on track. Trump said his orders also will “put a lot of steel workers back to work” because the pipes themselves must be built in the U.S.
“We are and I am very insistent that if we’re going to build pipelines in the United States, the pipes should be made in the United States,” Trump said Tuesday.
Also on Tuesday, Trump said his administration is going to ease environmental rules.
“Our friends that want to build in the United States, they go many, many years and then they can’t get the environmental permit over something that nobody ever heard of before,” he said. “And it’s absolutely crazy. I am, to a large extent, an environmentalist. I believe in it. But it’s out of control.”
Jamie Henn, of the environmental group 350.org, said his organization is “going to fight Keystone XL and Dakota Access along the route” but also is “going to jiu jitsu this attack into energy to take on fossil fuel infrastructure all across the country,” he told Politico.
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