Trump adviser in Canada: Prospects for Keystone XL looking up

Trump adviser in Canada: Prospects for Keystone XL looking up
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An adviser for President Trump told a Canadian audience on Monday that the White House agrees, ideologically, with officials pushing for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

Stephen Schwarzman, the chairman of a Trump economic advisory board, told Canadian reporters that he couldn’t directly address the fate of the Keystone project, which Trump has long backed. 

But he said the new administration will be more open to approving that project, and others, than former President Obama. 

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“What I would say is the new administration does not have the same ideological view as the previous one does and is expansionistic,” Schwarzman said after a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and others, the Calgary Herald reports.  

Canada’s natural resources minister on Friday told CTV News that he hopes Trump moves quickly to approve the pipeline. 

“All of the approvals that have to be in place are in place in Canada,” Jim Carr said. Trump “should know and Canadians should know that we think the project is good for Canada,” he added.

Throughout his presidential campaign, Trump said he would approve the Keystone XL pipeline and work, early in his presidency, to get it up and running.

He promised, for example, to “lift the Obama-Clinton roadblocks and allow for these vital energy infrastructure projects, like the Keystone pipeline, to move forward.”

On Friday, news reports indicated an early executive action from Trump would be to take pipeline approval powers away from the State Department, which nixed the project under Obama in 2015. 

As of Monday, Trump hadn’t signed any energy-related executive actions. White House press secretary Sean Spicer, asked during a briefing about Keystone and the Dakota Access pipeline project, said he was “not going to get in front of the president’s executive actions.”  

But he said the projects are “areas where we can increase jobs, increase economic growth and tap into America’s energy supply more.”