Fulfilling a campaign promise, President Donald J. Trump yesterday signed an executive order "initiating the process for approving" the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, which had been delayed for years by the Obama Administration.
The Keystone XL is a 1,100-mile crude oil pipeline that would connect oil production in Alberta, Canada to refiners in the U.S.
U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) called the president's order "a great decision."
"The choice is simple - build the pipeline, create jobs in the United States, and lessen our dependence on oil from the Middle East," said Graham. "We need oil and Canada has the means to deliver it to us. There's nothing more common-sense than expanding our long-standing, mutually beneficial relationship with Canada. I applaud this decision.”
Congressman Jeff Duncan (R-SC) also weighed in, saying the president's order is "exactly the kind of pro-growth action I was hoping the President would take in the early days of his Administration."
"These two pipelines bring us much closer to American and hemispheric energy independence, and may even herald a new day of energy exports that will bring more wealth for our country," said Duncan. "Construction of these pipelines will also provide thousands of good-paying, private sector jobs and get more Americans working. This is a win-win-win scenario for America – more jobs, more energy, more economic benefit."
Nationally, groups such as Vets4Energy, which advocates for policies that increase U.S. energy independence, praised the executive order.
"This is a positive step in the building of our energy infrastructure. And those American jobs can be filled by veterans," said James McCormick, program director of Vets4Energy and a bronze and silver star recipient.
The Natural Resources Defense Council, however, blasted the move as a "broadside at the nation’s environment and health." NextGen Climate Action founder Tom Steyer, a billionaire investor, said the pipeline is "all risk and no reward."
The White House released a statement after the president signed the order, saying the construction of the pipeline would be a major job creator.
"Construction and operation of the Keystone XL Pipeline, as well as oil production and refining activities related to it, would create tens of thousands of jobs for American workers, enhance our nation’s energy security, support affordable and reliable energy for American families, and generate significant State and local tax revenues that can be invested in schools, hospitals, and infrastructure," according to the statement.