Trump signs executive orders fast-tracking the pipeline approval process

by Zoya Teirstein, Grist

When Donald Trump was campaigning to become president in 2016, he promised to speed up the government review process for “private sector energy infrastructure projects.” On Wednesday, he made good on that pledge by signing two executive orders that would put pipelines on the fast track to success.

In addition to shortening the review process for infrastructure projects, the orders are aimed at limiting states’ power to pause construction and giving the president the final word on permits for cross-border projects, among other things.

“We’re gonna make it easier for you,” Trump said at a press conference on Wednesday. “You know about delays? Where it takes you 20 years to get a permit? Those days are gone.”

To date, oil companies have had a hard time selling their new, big pipeline projects in the court of public opinion. They’ve had an even harder time pushing those projects through the court of … courts. Pipeline company TransCanada, for instance, has been waiting a whole decade to build the northern leg of its Keystone XL extension.

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