Energy

‘A Big Priority’: Spicer Suggests Keystone XL Approval Is On The Way

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Michael Bastasch Energy Editor

President Trump is “very, very keen” to promote the energy sector, including approving oil pipelines that could spur economic growth, according to the White House.

Press Secretary Sean Spicer said during his press briefing Monday that Trump “has been very clear” in supporting the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines. Both pipelines were blocked by the Obama administration.

Spicer wouldn’t say when to expect an executive order related the pipeline projects, but he referred to Trump’s comments on the campaign trail. Trump came out in favor of Keystone XL and Dakota Access while running for office.

“I’m not getting in front of the president’s executive actions, but I will tell you areas, like Dakotas and Keystone pipeline, areas where we can increase jobs, economic growth and tap into America’s energy supply more, that’s something he has been very clear about,” Spicer told reporters in his first press conference Monday.

Trump’s campaign listed approving Keystone XL as an executive actions he would take in his first 100 days of his presidency. Trump said building Keystone XL would create jobs and increase American energy independence.

President Barack Obama declined to give TransCanada, the company building Keystone XL, the necessary cross-border permit needed to complete the pipeline in 2015. Keystone XL would have brought oil sands from Alberta to Gulf Coast refineries.

Obama said approving the project would damage the U.S. image as a fighter of global warming.

As for the Dakota Access Pipeline, Trump said he will “have it solved very quickly” upon entering office.

Obama blocked the Dakota Access Pipeline in November. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers did not grant the project an easement to cross the Missouri River. The Corps initially approved the oil pipeline in summer 2016 before reversing their decision.

“I think he talked about it not only on the campaign, but around the Thanksgiving period he was talking about that being a big priority,” Spicer said.

Spicer went on to reiterate Trump’s support for boosting U.S. energy production. The White House laid out Trump’s “America First Energy Plan” late last week.

“That’s one of those ones where I think that the energy sector and our natural resources are an area where I think the president is very, very keen on making sure that we maximize our use of natural resources to america’s benefit,” Spicer said.

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