The seven-year battle for Keystone XL pipeline is officially over as President Donald Trump has issued the presidential permit needed to move forward with construction. The 900-mile pipeline will run from the oil sands of Alberta, Canada to Steele City, Nebraska and connect to another pipeline to Port Arthur, Texas. It could carry up to 700,000 barrels of oil—every day—and give struggling gas and oil economies a much-needed boost.
The two countries were raring to go forward with this project until Former President Barack Obama slammed the brakes after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) advised him to steer clear. At least that was the official story from the White House. Mr. Obama disputed claims that the pipeline would increase jobs, lower fuel costs and positively affect the U.S. dependence on foreign energy. The former president’s refusal to issue the permit was a head-scratcher for the Canadians as the Canadian Natural Energy Board had issued their part of the agreement in March of 2010.
So, the pipeline sat in limbo, as once thriving oil and gas industries and their communities withered with a recession that hadn’t been seen in over forty years. Thousands of jobs lost, families displaced in search of livable wages, and the collateral damage inflicted on the businesses that supported those populations; all that changed when President Trump signed the permit.
Fox News covered the Oval Office event:
The State Department says that it determined that building Keystone serves the U.S. national interest. That’s the opposite conclusion to the one the State Department reached during the Obama administration. The State Department says it considered foreign policy and energy security in making the determination.
The permit was signed by Thomas Shannon, undersecretary of state for political affairs, as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recused himself due to his past relationship with Exxon.
Within minutes of issuing the permit, oil futures went up as Yahoo News reported:
Oil benchmarks registered modest gains on Friday (24 March) as US President Donald Trump inked his final approval to the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, reversing his predecessor Barack Obama’s decision to block the project.
The president went on to say the $8 billion-dollar project would create thousands of jobs in industries including steel and construction:
“It’s gonna be an incredible pipeline – the greatest technology known to man or woman. And frankly, we’re very proud of it.” Trump added, flanked by Energy Secretary Rick Perry, and high-ranking executives from project sponsor TransCanada.
The US State Department released these numbers on jobs the Keystone XL will create:
A spokesperson for the US State Department said the project would create 3,900 construction jobs over two years. The department also said 42,100 ancillary jobs would be created during construction related to food, housing and other services for workers.
For the next two years, with the issuance of the permit, Trump just added 45,000 decent-paying jobs. Should this measure prove to be even half of what is expected regarding job growth and energy production, Mr. Obama will be proven dead wrong about stopping the pipeline. As well, his job suffocating decisions for American workers are beginning to be rectified by the new president.
So, it seems that the politics and policies of the Obama regime are being eradicated one by one. That means America is poised for perhaps some long-overdue economic growth. It also means some of us, at least, are hopeful–and excited to see what the new administration does next.
Oh, the audacity of hope.