2017-03-24 08:46:02
U.S., in Reversal, Issues Permit for Keystone Oil Pipeline

The Trump administration announced Friday that it would issue a permit for construction of the Keystone oil pipeline, a long-disputed project that would link producers in Canada and North Dakota with refiners and export terminals on the Gulf Coast.

The announcement by the State Department reversed the position of the Obama administration. It followed a 60-day review that was set in motion as one of the first acts of President Trump’s tenure.

The pipeline has been the focus of a long fight between environmentalists and the project’s advocates, who say it would further the goals of energy independence and economic growth. When President Barack Obama rejected the project in late 2015, he said it would undermine American leadership in curbing reliance on carbon fuels.

The announcement on Friday said the State Department “considered a range of factors, including but not limited to foreign policy; energy security; environmental, cultural, and economic impacts; and compliance with applicable law and policy.”

The new secretary of state, Rex W. Tillerson, formerly chief executive of Exxon Mobil, had recused himself from the decision. The announcement said the permit was signed by the under secretary of state for political affairs, Thomas A. Shannon Jr.