President Trump today approved a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline – a controversial project that was vetoed by former President Barack Obama.
“In making his determination that issuance of this permit would serve the national interest, the under secretary considered a range of factors, including but not limited to foreign policy; energy security; environmental, cultural, and economic impacts; and compliance with applicable law and policy,” according to a statement released by the State Department, which issued the permit.
The pipeline, which is owned by Canadian company TransCanada Corporation, was the subject of months-long protests by Native Americans and environmentalists who said the pipeline would interfere with sacred tribal lands and endanger the safety of groundwater.
Additionally, the project heated up the debate over climate change and the U.S. dependence on fossil fuels.
Trump had promised to approve the pipeline during his campaign.
The $8 billion, 875-mile line will carry up to 830,000 barrels a day of heavy oil sands petroleum from Alberta, Canada, to Nebraska, where it will continue through existing lines to Gulf Coast refineries.
Because the application was not a new one, TransCanada will not be required to use American steel – something Trump promised during his campaign.
The project still needs approval from state officials in Nebraska, and could face additional legal challenges from environmentalists.