25 Jan Trump backs controversial US oil pipelines
US President Donald Trumped has given the green light to two controversial oil pipelines in a bid to improve the country’s energy infrastructure.
Trump signed orders to put the wheels in motion for the US$6.1 billion Keystone XL pipeline, rejected by Barack Obama in 2015, and the hugely protested Dakota Access oil pipeline which had been successfully blocked by activists.
The announcement will be seen by Trump supporters as the president delivering on the campaign promise to increase domestic energy supply and will make up part of the ‘America First Energy Plan’.
If both pipelines are constructed it will result in oil producers from Canada and North Dakota benefiting from a quicker route for crude oil to U.S Gulf Coast refiners.
Despite Canada already being the US’s largest crude importer, Reuters reports that Washington sees boosting the flow from a strong ally as a step to shore up energy security.
TransCanada Corp revealed it would resubmit its application for a Keystone XL permit after Trump notified signed an order allowing it to re-apply.
The US and Obama had been gripped in a struggle with protesters over the Dakota pipeline over fears the $3.8 billion project threatened water resources and sacred Native American sites at the Standing Rock Sioux reservation.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Standing Rock Sioux said they would fight the orders.
“Americans know this pipeline was unfairly rerouted towards our nation and without our consent. The existing pipeline route risks infringing on our treaty rights, contaminating our water and the water of 17 million Americans downstream,” said Dave Archambault II, chairman of the Standing Rock tribe.