Economy

Permit Approving Keystone Pipeline To Be Signed By Monday

Permit Approving Keystone Pipeline To Be Signed By Monday

Senior US officials say the State Department will recommend approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, clearing the way for the White House to formally approve it.

According to CBC Canada, the Associated Press cited two unnamed sources who said that Tom Shannon, the undersecretary of the State Department, will issue the approval tomorrow.

But pipeline opponents point out that the State Department findings carried a more pessimistic caveat: that if no other pipelines got built, and oil prices remained low, then Keystone XL actually might lead to more production and therefore pollution. Spokesman Terry Cunha said the company was working closely with the State Department.

"We're looking at new factors", Toner said.

The $8 billion pipeline project would pass through multiple USA states: Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma.

The multi-billion dollar Keystone pipeline would bring more than 800,000 barrels-per-day of heavy crude from Canada's oil sands to USA refineries and ports along the Gulf of Mexico, via an existing pipeline network in Nebraska.

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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had recused himself from the approval process because of his former ties as chief executive for Exxon Mobil.

Trump signed an executive order on January 24 advancing the construction of both Keystone and the Dakota Access pipeline. The company has already acquired the steel, much of it from Canada and Mexico, and the White House has acknowledged it's too hard to impose conditions on a pipeline already under construction.

Environmental groups objected to the pipeline's route and argued it presents too high a risk for oil leaks and would encourage the use of polluting sources of energy that contribute to global warming.

A Trump presidential directive also required new or expanded pipelines to be built with American steel "to the maximum extent possible".

The Trump administration has dropped fighting climate change as a priority and left open the possibility of pulling out of the Paris deal.