The State Department will approve on Friday the permit needed to proceed with construction of the Canada-to-United States Keystone XL oil pipeline, a project blocked by former President Barack Obama, according to government sources.
The property tax revenue associated with the Keystone XL pipeline would help local counties and schools recover from the projected spending cuts in state aid. Critics cite the likelihood of environmental damage and higher rates of greenhouse gas emissions.
The go-ahead for Keystone will mark a clear victory for oil industry advocates, who say the pipeline will create jobs and improve US energy security.
Rex Tillerson, who now serves as secretary of state and is also the former Chief Executive of Exxon Mobil, recused himself from the decision-making process.
Greenpeace is asking the State Department to provide documentation about the justification for Tillerson's recusal and any waivers obtained or requested.
The EPA has said the pipeline would impact global warming, while a USA government report from 2013 found that the project will do little harm to the environment.
"We continue to have positive dialogue with our Nebraska stakeholders. and will continue to do so as the project moves through the PSC process", Mr. Cunha said.
Tillerson Says State Department Spending 'Unsustainable'
Traveling overseas with a full contingent of reporters has been protocol for decades. McPike has been persistent in requesting an interview with Secretary Tillerson.
Trump signed an executive order on January 24 advancing the construction of both Keystone and the Dakota Access pipeline.
TransCanada, the company seeking to build the pipeline, first applied for a permit in 2008.
Members of the Public Service Commission generally take about seven months to approve or deny an application, but they can postpone a decision for up to a year.
Environmental groups also say the pipeline will encourage the use of carbon-heavy tar sands oil which contributes more to global warming than cleaner sources of energy. "We can not let the Trump administration undo the progress that people all over the country have made to ensure we avoid catastrophic climate change". Years of politicking, legal wrangling and disputes over the pipeline's route preceded Obama's decision to nix the project.
In rejecting Keystone, the Obama administration argued it would undercut USA efforts to clinch a global climate change deal that was reached weeks later in Paris.
The Trump administration has dropped fighting climate change as a priority and left open the possibility of pulling out of the Paris deal.
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