Trump revives controversial oil pipeline projects

US President Donald Trump has signed executive orders to advance the construction of two controversial oil pipelines. His orders would overturn the decisions made by Barack Obama to halt the […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

US President Donald Trump has signed executive orders to advance the construction of two controversial oil pipelines.

His orders would overturn the decisions made by Barack Obama to halt the construction of the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines.

The former president did so as a result of environmental concerns and possible infringement upon the land and resources of Native American tribes.

The Keystone pipeline would span nearly 1,200 miles across six US states, transporting more than 800,000 barrels of oil daily from Canadian oil sands through Nebraska to refineries in the Gulf coast.

Before signing the order for the first pipeline, Mr Trump said: “This is with regard to the construction of the Keystone pipeline, something that’s been in dispute and it’s subject to a renegotiation of terms by us. We’re going to see if we can renegotiate the terms and if they’d like, we’ll see if we can get that pipeline built. A lot of jobs, 28,000 jobs, great construction jobs.”

He also signed an executive order for the Dakota Access pipeline, a project worth $3.8 billion (£3bn) that would transport crude oil from North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa to a shipping point in Illinois.

The President said this would also be “subject to terms and conditions to be negotiated by us”.

He believes environmentalism “is out of control” and promised to fast-track permitting processes.

Mr Trump added: “I have friends that want to build in the United States, they go many, many years and then they can’t get their environmental permit over things that nobody ever heard of before and it’s absolutely crazy.

“I am to a large extent an environmentalist, I believe in it, but it’s out of control. We’re going to make a very short process and we’re going to either give you permits or we’re not going to give you your permits but you’re going to know very quickly.”

He also signed an executive order to build pipes for projects such as these in the US, stating: “If we’re going to build pipelines in the United States, the pipes should be made in the United States.”

While the news was welcomed by the Canadian Government, it has been criticised by environmental groups, which have staged protests in the past.

The President recently unveiled his new energy policies.