Search

President Trump to Move Forward on Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines

Updated: Jan 24, 2017 10:28 AM ET

(WASHINGTON) — 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 renegotiations 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.

Looking ahead, Trump announced that he planned to nominate a justice for the Supreme Court next week, moving swiftly to try to fill the seat left vacant by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. The president was summoning top senators to the White House later Tuesday to discuss his upcoming nomination.

Trump has sought to focus his first full week in office on jobs and the economy. Republicans, as well as some unions, have cited the pipeline projects as prime opportunities for job growth.

Former President Barack Obama stopped the proposed Keystone XL pipeline in late 2015, declaring it would have undercut U.S. efforts to clinch a global climate change deal that was a centerpiece of his environmental legacy. The pipeline would run from Canada to Nebraska where it would connect to existing lines running to U.S. refineries on the Gulf Coast. The U.S. 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 U.S. 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.

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 Co. 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 U.S., though he did not specify his plans for either.

His administration, he said, will "go down as one of the most friendly countries" for business.

Trump's actions signal a reset after a tumultuous weekend dominated by his and his spokesman's false statements about inauguration crowds and their vigorous complaints about media coverage of the celebrations. While Trump's advisers have long accepted his tendency to become fixated on seemingly insignificant issues, some privately concede that his focus on inauguration crowds was unhelpful on the opening weekend of his presidency.

In addition to his executive action on TPP, Trump signed memorandums freezing most federal government hiring — though he noted an exception for the military — and reinstating a ban on providing federal money to international groups that perform abortions or provide information on the option. The regulation, known as the "Mexico City Policy," has been a political volleyball, instituted by Republican administrations and rescinded by Democratic ones since 1984.

The actions were among the long list of steps candidate Trump pledged to take on his opening day as president. But other "Day One" promises were going unfulfilled, including plans to propose a constitutional amendment imposing term limits on members of Congress and terminating Obama's executive actions deferring deportations for some people living in the U.S. illegally.

___

Associated Press writers Darlene Superville, Ken Thomas, Erica Werner, Jonathan Lemire and Jill Colvin contributed to this report.

Native Americans march to a burial ground sacred site that was disturbed by bulldozers building the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), near the encampment where hundreds of people have gathered to join the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's protest of the oil pipeline that is slated to cross the Missouri River near Cannon Ball, North Dakota Sept. 4, 2016.
VIEW GALLERY | 12 PHOTOS
Native Americans march to a sacred burial ground site that was disturbed by bulldozers building the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), near the encampment where hundreds of people gathered to join the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's protest of the oil pipeline that is slated to cross the Missouri River near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, Sept. 4, 2016.Robyn Beck—AFP/Getty Images
Native Americans march to a burial ground sacred site that was disturbed by bulldozers building the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), near the encampment where hundreds of people have gathered to join the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's protest of the oil pipeline that is slated to cross the Missouri River near Cannon Ball, North Dakota Sept. 4, 2016.
A Standing Rock Sioux flag flies over a protest encampment near Cannon Ball, North Dakota on Sept. 3, 2016.
Lamar Armstrong of the Mojave Paiute, right, instructs graduate student Tyesha Ignacio of the Najavo Nation how to prepare donated bison meat in the main kitchen area of the Standing Rock Sioux protest encampment near Cannon Ball, North Dakota on Sept. 3, 2016.
People sign a teepee with words of support for protestors at an encampment where hundreds of people have gathered to join the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's protest against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipe (DAPL), near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, on Sept. 3, 2016.
People hang out in the bed of their truck as the sun sets over a protest encampment near Cannon Ball, North Dakota on Sept. 3, 2016.
Drummers warm up their instruments over the fire Sacred Stone Camp, North Dakota on Sept. 8, 2016.
Flags of Native American tribes from across the US and Canada line the entrance to a protest encampment near Cannon Ball, North Dakota on Sept. 3, 2016.
US-ENVIRONMENT-OIL-PROTEST-PIPELINE
Signs hang from heavy machinery after protesters stopped construction on the Energy Transfer Partners Dakota Access oil pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in Cannon Ball, North Dakota on Sept. 6, 2016.
Native American protesters play basketball in an encampment that has grown on the banks of the Cannon Ball River in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, on Sept. 5, 2016.
The Youth Camp Council marched and chanted in opposition to the pipeline construction at the Sacred Stone Camp, in North Dakota on Sept. 8, 2016.
Signs left by protesters demonstrating against the Energy Transfer Partners Dakota Access oil pipeline sit at the gate of a construction access road in Cannon Ball, North Dakota on Sept. 6, 2016.
Native Americans march to a sacred burial ground site that was disturbed by bulldozers building the Dakota Access Pipeli
... VIEW MORE

Robyn Beck—AFP/Getty Images
1 of 12
All products and services featured are based solely on editorial selection. TIME may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website.