Trump authorises construction of controversial Keystone Pipeline

Indo Asian News Service

Washington, March 24 (IANS) US President Donald Trump on Friday authorised the construction of controversial Keystone XL pipeline across the US border, reversing one of the most controversial environmental policies of his predecessor Barack Obama, officials said.

Canadian company TransCanada announced it received the State Department permit to construct, operate and maintain the Keystone XL pipeline on the border between the US and Canada.

The company said that now it needs to receive an approval for the pipeline's route through Nebraska, a process that could take several more months, Politico reported.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer earlier said on Twitter that Trump would make an announcement on the pipeline at 10.15 a.m. (local time) Friday.

Just days after taking office, Trump set a 60-day deadline for the State Department to decide whether to issue the permit, which the Obama administration had rejected in 2015, citing environmental and climate concerns.

Trump had promised during his campaign he would approve the pipeline as part of a plan to boost US energy production, said the report.

Environmental groups had turned their campaign against the pipeline into rallying cry to fight climate change, sparking a years-long battle in Washington between the oil industry and greens.

In a statement, Trump's State Department said it had considered foreign policy implications of the decision, as well as the nation's energy security, and the environmental, cultural, and economic impacts.

--IANS

soni/vt