- The Washington Times - Friday, March 29, 2019

President Trump reissued a permit Friday to allow TransCanada to build the Keystone XL Pipeline across the U.S.-Canada border.

The move could help clear some of the hurdles that have delayed construction of the pipeline, which has become the most controversial energy project of the last decade.

Mr. Trump had campaigned on getting the pipeline built, and has on several occasions tried to boost its prospects, though the project remains mired in local red tape and legal scuffles.

Backers said they hoped the new permit would cut through some of that.

“Keystone XL is in our economic and energy security interests, and review after review have found that it can be built and operated in an environmentally responsible way,” said Christopher Guith, an official at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “It’s time to move forward.”

Mr. Trump issued a similar permit two years ago. Friday’s move revokes that previous permit.

President Obama had rejected Keystone construction in 2015, despite a review by his government that seemed to back the pipeline.

Environmental groups say it will do lasting damage to the areas where it’s sited, and warn of the dangers of pipeline breaches.

Pipeline backers say pipelines are actually safer than alternatives for transporting the oil. They argue the environmentalists’ aims are to stifle oil exploration more broadly.

A federal judge in Montana has blocked work on the pipeline there, ruling more environmental review was needed. Meanwhile the Nebraska Supreme Court is also considering a challenge to the pipeline’s planned route through that state.

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