Trump administration to approve Keystone XL pipeline

Washington D.C. [U.S.], Mar. 23 (ANI): The U.S. State Department is set to approve the Keystone XL pipeline by Monday, reversing the Obama administration's decision to block the controversial oil pipeline.

Tom Shannon, the State Department's undersecretary for political affairs, will sign TransCanada's permit, making good on one of U.S. President Donald Trump's campaign promises.

It will greenlight the Canadian company to complete construction on the pipeline that will funnel crude oil from Canada to refineries on the Gulf Coast, the senior US official said, the CNN reported.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the former CEO of ExxonMobil, recused himself from the case earlier this month.

Trump earlier in January signed an executive order to advance the pipeline's approval.

The approval follows years of intense debate over the pipeline amid hefty opposition from environmental groups, who argued that the pipeline supports the extraction of crude oil from oil sands, which pumps about 17 percent more greenhouse gases than standard crude oil extraction. (ANI)