After years of starts, stops, delays and stiff resistance from environmentalists, the Keystone XL oil pipeline is set to move forward.
The Trump administration is expected to green-light the highly controversial project in the next several days, paving the way for the type of massive infrastructure project the president promised during his campaign.
The State Department, which halted Keystone in late 2015 during then-President Barack Obama’s tenure, reportedly will approve the pipeline no later than Monday — 60 days after President Trump signed an executive order directing his administration to revisit it.
If constructed, Keystone would transport oil from Alberta, Canada, through the U.S. heartland to refineries on the Gulf Coast.
News of the looming approval drew praise from pipeline proponents who say it’s long past time to put the politics of the project in the rear-view mirror.
“This is a safe and efficient way to move crude from Canada through the Midwest to the Gulf Coast, but was subject to years of political delay, even though there was no evidence of a significant impact on climate change. The southern part is completed, it’s time to complete the rest of the line,” Sen. James Lankford, Oklahoma Republican, said in a statement.
Indeed, while the Obama administration cited climate change in its rationale for stopping Keystone, the State Department’s own research has shown the pipeline will have no significant impact on North American greenhouse gas emissions. That same research also found that the project will create more than 40,000 jobs.