Trump signs executive orders to speed up energy projects

The US president is trying to make it harder for states to block projects on environmental grounds

President Donald Trump has signed two executive orders to accelerate the approval of energy projects in the US.

That would also make it harder for state agencies to block oil and gas pipelines and other projects on environmental grounds.

The first order will speed up the process for approving infrastructure such as oil pipelines, now taking no more than 60 days for the green light, with the president having the sole authority to make the final decision when “caught up in problems”.

The move follows Mr Trump’s decision to issue a new permit for the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline.

The second order will “modernise regulations for LNG export terminals and encourage new infrastructure financing” – the Environmental Protection Agency is to issue new guidance for states to comply with the Clean Water Act.

Speaking before union workers at a training facility in Crosby, Texas yesterday, Mr Trump said: “My action today will cut through destructive permitting delays and denials. You know about that? You know about delays where it takes you 20 years to get a permit? Those days are gone.”

He added: “Too often, badly needed energy infrastructure is being held back by special interest groups, entrenched bureaucracies and radical activists.

“The two executive orders that I’ll be signing in just a moment will fix this, dramatically accelerating energy infrastructure approvals. So we’re going to get these approvals done quickly.”

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