Welp… this is bad news mixed with some spotty hope…
U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration approved TransCanada Corp’s (TRP.TO) Keystone XL pipeline on Friday, cheering the oil industry and angering environmentalists even as further hurdles for the controversial project loom.
The approval reverses a decision by former President Barack Obama to reject the project, but the company still needs to win financing, acquire local permits, and fend off likely legal challenges for the pipeline to be built.
“TransCanada will finally be allowed to complete this long-overdue project with efficiency and with speed,” Trump said in the Oval Office before turning to ask TransCanada Chief Executive Officer Russell Girling when construction would start.
“We’ve got some work to do in Nebraska to get our permits there,” Girling replied.
“Nebraska?” Trump said. “I’ll call Nebraska.”
Yeah okay, Toupee Tan. You call them. That’ll work.
There are a few other obstacles, as well…
Environmental groups vowed to fight it.
Greenpeace said it would pressure banks to withhold financing for the multibillion-dollar project, and others said they would fight the pipeline in court.
“We’ll use every tool in the kit,” said Rhea Suh, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Since Obama had nixed the pipeline based on an environmental assessment commissioned by the State Department in early 2014, opponents will likely argue in court that Trump cannot reverse the decision without conducting a new assessment.
Fred Jauss, partner at the international law firm Dorsey & Whitney and a former attorney with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, said local permitting would also be a challenge.
“The Presidential Permit is only one part of a web of federal, state, and local permits that must be obtained prior to starting construction,” he said. “Other federal agencies, such as the Army Corps of Engineers, state regulatory commissions, and even local planning boards may have requirements that need to be fulfilled by Keystone prior to construction.”
“In addition, TransCanada may still need to reach deals with hundreds of potentially affected landowners on the pipeline’s route. There is a lot of work ahead for TransCanada.”
What we need to do is make sure those obstacles are impossible to pass. We need to help make the whole thing not worth it. When anyone takes them to court, support that fight with your money and/or your time. Do the usual writing/calling/texting/faxing/emailing of your Congress-critters.
We cannot let them win, and destroy the environment.
Fight it all the way.