April 8, 2019

What President Trump’s Order To Build The Keystone XL Pipeline Actually Means

On Friday, March 28, President Donald Trump issued a presidential permit that would allow TransCanada to move forward to complete construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which has been subject to more than a decade of delays due to legal challenges.

Labor union leaders praised the decision. Laborers’ International Union of North America General President Terry O’Sullivan said the pipeline will have a “game-changing impact” on the nation’s workforce because it would create thousands of jobs in several sectors and North America’s Building Trades Unions President Sean McGarvey called the project “vital to our national interest.”

Does the president’s order mean the pipeline will be built, however? It is unclear – and it’s even unclear if construction could begin right away. Activists who oppose construction of the pipeline already have filed a federal lawsuit asking that the president’s order be overturned.

According to Reuters, it also is unclear whether the project would have to undergo new environmental reviews under the permit authorized last week by the president. (The pipeline already has undergone several that have showed it would have a negligible effect on the climate.) If those reviews are necessary, they could take years to complete.