President Donald Trump’s recent executive actions give fresh hope to the Keystone XL and the Dakota Access pipelines. And that’s the way it should be.
We applaud Mr. Trump’s executive action to ease the way for the government to reconsider its review and renegotiate terms of the Keystone XL pipeline. The pipeline, which would transport tar sands crude oil from Canada through Nebraska to Gulf Coast refineries in Texas, has become one of the most studied and politicized pipelines in recent U.S. history. It was approved at numerous stages of development, at one point even by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, but former President Barack Obama waffled on it before rejecting the proposal in 2015.
Taking politics out of it, Keystone XL is simply a pipeline, just like the many thousands of miles of other pipelines that move crude oil and gas from one end of the United States to another. Pipelines are safer than shipping oil on trucks, tankers and rail cars, and the economic and national security benefits in this case outweigh environmental risks.