US President Donald Trump is wasting no time in moving forward with a key campaign promise.
After officially being sworn in as 45th President of the United States on Friday, Trump signed executive orders in the Oval Office Tuesday morning to move forward with the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipeline projects, subject to a few terms and conditions.
During his campaign, Trump announced one of his first plans in office was to kickstart Keystone, which would see Alberta bitumen be sent to US refineries.
President and CEO of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, Tim McMillan tells Mix News signing these pipelines this early in his presidency highlights the importance of these two projects.
“It will mean on-going revenue for municipalities and property tax in Alberta and Saskatchewan over $4.5 million a year worth. So this is an important project for really our country,” says McMillian. “This means jobs in Canada. During construction, TransCanada expects about 2200 Canadians will be employed.”
The project was first proposed in 2008 and while it received approval from the Canadian government, then President Barack Obama vetoed a bill that would approve construction in 2015.
Meanwhile, Wildrose Party leader and MLA for Fort McMurray-Conklin Brian Jean says the approval is great news for Alberta and our oil and gas sector.
It’s proof that our industry does not and should not be punished with taxes and caps to get to tidewater #ableg
— Brian Jean (@BrianJeanWRP) January 24, 2017
The Federal Liberals are also welcoming the news, as they have been long supporters of the project, noting it can proceed without affecting their climate change targets.
McMillian notes the pipeline will be built and operate to the highest safety standards.
“We learn from the work that we’ve done and the next pipeline will probably be the safest pipeline we have because we have that principle of continual improvement.”
Lots of questions surrounding construction still remain, as no exact time line has been given as to when work will actually start.
McMillian says Transport Canada will now be consulting with different agencies in the States to move the project along.
– Picture from Keystone XL pipeline website