Keystone XL builder sends new permit application to Trump

Keystone XL builder sends new permit application to Trump
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The Canadian company hoping to build the Keystone XL oil pipeline said Thursday that it sent the Trump administration a new application for the cross-border permit the project needs.

TransCanada Corp. resubmitted the application two days after President Trump signed a presidential memorandum formally asking the company to reapply and directing the State Department to decide within 60 days whether the permit should be issued.

Trump was inaugurated less than a week before the application was filed. Approving Keystone was one of his earliest campaign promises on energy policy.

“This privately funded infrastructure project will help meet America's growing energy needs as well as create tens of thousands of well-paying jobs and generate substantial economic benefit throughout the U.S. and Canada,” TransCanada President Russ Girling said in a statement.

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“KXL will strengthen the United States’ energy security and remains in the national interest. The project is an important new piece of modern U.S. infrastructure that secures access to an abundant energy resource produced by a neighbor that shares a commitment to a clean and healthy environment.”

Trump said Tuesday when he signed the memo that Keystone would create “a lot of jobs. 28,000 jobs. Great construction jobs.”

Only 35 of those jobs will be permanent, the State Department concluded in 2013.

TransCanada said the project would contribute $3.4 billion to the U.S. economy.

The Calgary, Canada-based company needs a permit from Trump to build the pipeline across the U.S.-Canada border. Under a 1994 executive order, the State Department is charged with determining whether the project is in the U.S.’s “national interest,” and the president makes the final decision on the permit.

As planned, the project would bring oil sands petroleum from Alberta, Canada, to refiners on the Gulf Coast in Texas.

Former President Obama rejected the Keystone application in 2015, seven years after TransCanada first applied for it.

The proposal became a lightning rod, a symbol of the debate between whether the U.S. should use more oil from allies or reduce its use of fossil fuels.

TransCanada has a number of other hurdles to overcome before it can build Keystone, including obtaining the right-of-way for the route in Nebraska, which it cannot start to do until September at the earliest.

On Tuesday, Trump also signed a memo to move along the Dakota Access Pipeline and to direct the Commerce Department to look into whether it could require that domestic pipelines to use steel and other parts from the United States.

TransCanada has already bought most of the pipe for Keystone, and only half of it is domestically produced.