President Trump issued two orders on Jan. 24, 2017, that support development of the highly debated Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines, according to media reports.
The Dakota Access pipeline has been the source of protests in North Dakota near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, while the Keystone XL pipeline was rejected by then-President Obama in 2015.
The New York Times reported that Trump “signed a document clearing the way for the government to reconsider the pipeline as well as another expediting the Dakota Access pipeline from North and South Dakota to Illinois.”
It was not immediately clear exactly what the next steps would be on these projects.
The proposed Keystone XL pipeline would be an expansion of TransCanada’s Keystone system. The proposed expansion would help deliver oil from Canada and the U.S. to the Gulf Coast via a 1,179-mile pipeline between Hardisty, Alberta, and Steele City, Nebraska.
After months of intense protests by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and many others over the Dakota Access pipeline, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said in December it would seek alternative routes for the pipeline. Protests included concerns about the pipeline’s potential impact on water sources.
The Times said Trump signed an executive memorandum directing the Army “to review and approve in an expedited manner” the pipeline, “to the extent permitted by law and as warranted.”