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OilMonster

Natural Gas April 11, 2019 01:00:56 AM

Trump Signs Orders to Speed Up Oil and Gas Pipeline Construction

Anil
Mathews
OilMonster Author
Mr. Trump last month issued a new presidential permit to Keystone XL, which has been delayed since the early years of the Obama administration.
Trump Signs Orders to Speed Up Oil and Gas Pipeline Construction

SEATTLE (Oil Monster): President Trump signed two executive orders on Wednesday that he says will speed up construction of pipelines and other projects to enhance the production and transport of oil and natural gas between states and across international borders.

The actions are unlikely to have much of an immediate impact, and they will probably attract legal challenges by state governments seeking to preserve control over such projects. But the orders are symbolically important for a president who likes to take credit for a boom in energy production and exports. And he delivered the message in an oil-rich Republican state where Democrats recently made electoral gains.

One order directs the Environmental Protection Agency to review and tighten rules to make it more difficult for states to scuttle pipelines by invoking provisions of the Clean Water Act.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York, an opponent of hydraulic fracturing, has blocked interstate natural gas pipelines that would connect several Northeastern states to Pennsylvania’s Marcellus shale gas field. A shortage of natural-gas pipeline capacity prompted Consolidated Edison to impose a moratorium on new gas connections last month in parts of Westchester County.

The other executive order would transfer authority for approving the construction of international pipelines from the secretary of state to the president, eliminating a lengthy State Department review process. The goal is to speed up projects like the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to refineries on the Gulf of Mexico.

Mr. Trump last month issued a new presidential permit to Keystone XL, which has been delayed since the early years of the Obama administration. But the pipeline is being contested in the courts by environmentalists, farmers and some Native American groups.

“Too often, badly needed energy infrastructure is being held back by special-interest groups, entrenched bureaucracies and radical activists,” Mr. Trump told an audience at the International Union of Operating Engineers training center in Crosby, Tex., near Houston. “This obstruction does not just hurt families and workers like you. It undermines our independence and national security.”

Environmentalists were quick to criticize the orders issued Wednesday, which they said would exacerbate climate change.

“President Trump is curtailing the public’s voice in an attempt to force dirty energy projects on communities across America,” said Joshua Axelrod, a lawyer for the Natural Resources Defense Council. “Pipelines like Keystone XL pose dangers to our water, our farms and our climate.”

Courtesy: www.nytimes.com

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