It is unclear whether it will amount to anything at all, but President Trump just signed executive orders intended to speed up the approval and completion of both the Keystone XL and the Dakota Access pipelines.
“A lot of jobs, 28,000 jobs. Great construction jobs,” Trump said as he wielded his pen to sign the Keystone order, adding that the pipelines would be built with American labor and steel.
Both pipelines will be “subject to terms and conditions to be negotiated by us,” Trump said.
The Dakota Access pipeline has been protested by Sioux Indians who claim the part of the pipeline under a lake that provides water for the tribe would jeopardize the water.
President Obama’s administration had blocked construction of the Keystone pipeline, saying it would add to global warming.
Trump also signed an executive order to expedite environmental reviews of other infrastructure projects, saying the current process is “incredibly cumbersome, long, horrible permitting process. … The regulatory process in this country has become a tangled up mess.”
Environmentalist groups immediately criticized the orders.
Trump said, “From now on we’re going to be making pipeline in the United States. We build the pipelines, we want to build the pipe. We’re going to put a lot of workers, a lot of skilled workers, back to work. We will build our own pipeline, we will build our own pipes, like we used to in the old days.”
Things are going to be different in Washington. Whether the bureaucracy actually speeds up remains to be seen.