Mon | Aug 21, 2017

Trump signs orders advancing Keystone, Dakota pipelines

Published:Wednesday | January 25, 2017 | 1:00 AM
In this Monday, November 21, 2016 file photo, protesters against the Dakota Access oil pipeline stand on a burned-out truck near Cannon Ball, North Dakota. The project was blocked by the Obama administration.

United States President Donald Trump moved to advance construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines Tuesday, a pair of projects that were blocked by the Obama administration due in part to environmental concerns.

Both orders are subject to renegotiation of the agreements.

Trump also signed a notice requiring the materials for the pipelines to be constructed in the United States, though it was unclear how he planned to enforce the measure.

"From now we are going to start making pipelines in the United States," Trump said from the Oval Office.

Former President Barack Obama stopped the proposed Keystone XL pipeline in late 2015, declaring it would have undercut US efforts to clinch a global climate change deal that was a centrepiece of his environmental legacy.

The pipeline would run from Canada to Nebraska where it would connect to existing lines running to US refineries on the Gulf Coast. The US government needs to approve the pipeline because it would cross the nation's northern border.

Separately, late last year, the Army Corps of Engineers declined to allow construction of the Dakota Access pipeline under Lake Oahe, saying alternative routes needed to be considered. The Standing Rock Sioux tribe and its supporters say the project threatens drinking water and Native American sites, though Energy Transfer Partners, the company that wants to build the pipeline, disputes that and says the pipeline will be safe.

The pipeline is to carry North Dakota oil through South Dakota and Iowa to a shipping point in Illinois.

Even as Trump moves to implement his agenda, he is still making false claims.

During a reception with lawmakers at the White House Monday evening, Trump claimed the reason he'd lost the popular vote to Democratic rival Hillary Clinton was that 3 million to 5 million immigrants living in the US illegally had voted. That's according to a Democratic aide familiar with the exchange, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the private meeting.

NO EVIDENCE

There is no evidence to support Trump's claim. He made a similar statement on Twitter in late November that he had won the Electoral College in a "landslide" and "won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally".

Clinton won the popular vote by nearly 2.9 million votes but lost the electoral contest.

Trump's assertion appears to be part of a continuing pattern for him and his new administration in which falsehoods overshadow his outreach efforts.

On Tuesday, Trump summoned the heads of the big three American automakers, General Motors, Ford Motor Company and Fiat Chrysler, for a breakfast meeting at the White House. He pledged to scrap regulations and reduce taxes on corporations that keep jobs in the US, though he did not specify his plans for either.

- AP