Trump OKs Keystone pipeline, calling it 'great day' for jobs

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29 March, 2017

The company said today that it would "continue to engage key stakeholders and neighbors throughout Nebraska, Montana and South Dakota to obtain the necessary permits and approvals to advance this project to construction".

Daugaard's administration has been preparing for potential protests over the pipeline.

Oil industry advocates say the pipeline will improve USA energy security and create jobs, although how many is widely disputed.

"I hope we will all seek to exercise our First Amendment rights peacefully, and respect the right of others to do likewise", Daugaard said.

The $8 billion project would span 1,200 miles, connecting Alberta's massive tar sands crude with pipelines and refineries on the Texas gulf coast that are particularly well-suited to handling the thick oil. It would move roughly 800,000 barrels of oil per day, more than one-fifth of Canada's oil Canada to the U.S.

Environmental groups have forcefully opposed the pipeline.

Before Obama rejected the Keystone Pipeline permits, more than 97,000 activists signed a "pledge of resistance", vowing to risk arrest in civil disobedience to stop the pipeline, according to CREDO Action, a digital activist networking organization based in San Francisco. Obama said building the pipeline would have undercut USA efforts to reach a global climate change deal that was later clinched in Paris.

Her group is among many that have mobilized to fight.

The Trump administration might have signed off on the Keystone XL project, but the pipeline's still got at least one big hurdle to overcome.

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The State Department reached the opposite conclusion two years ago.

Obama had rejected the pipeline saying it would do nothing to reduce fuel prices for USA motorists and would contribute emissions linked to global warming.

The State Department, responsible for reviewing the project because it crosses an global border, determined that building it serves USA national interests.

But the level of those benefits has been the subject of exhaustive debate in recent years. In Canadian regulatory filings, consultants for TransCanada suggested that this will improve downstream profitability and raise prices in the American markets that rely on a captive supply of Canadian oil (primarily the American Midwest).

However, South Dakota Democratic Party Executive Director Suzanne Jones Pranger said the pipeline will not have a positive impact on residents. "Producing more American-made energy also makes us safer by decreasing our reliance on the turbulent Middle East".

Canada is the world's sixth-largest oil producer thanks to the Alberta oil sands. The pipeline had stalled under the Obama administration, which had said the pipeline would do nothing to reduce fuel prices for USA motorists and would contribute emissions linked to global warming.

Without the pipeline, Carr said the oil would move by the more unsafe method of rail. Many of those jobs would be during the initial construction phase.

Mr. Trump has predicted that Keystone and a smaller pipeline project, the Dakota Access pipeline, would create 28,000 jobs in the U.S. Job projections have varied considerably. The same State Department report estimates that the pipeline will bring in $55.6 million in property tax revenue spread across the 27 affected counties over its first year of operation. After that, only a few dozen workers would be needed to maintain the pipeline.

Trump appeared surprised to learn Friday that TransCanada still has work to do before it can proceed.


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