Trump Administration Clears Keystone XL Pipeline

South Dakota Delegates Applaud "Long Overdue" Decision

Under the Obama administration, the Keystone XL Pipeline met its end.

It received new life on Friday.

Calling it “a great day for American jobs,” President Donald Trump announced Friday his administration is giving the $8 billion project the green light.

A permit clears the way for the Keystone XL pipeline to start construction.

The proposal moves oil from Alberta, Canada through several states, including South Dakota and connects its way down to the gulf coast.

Senator John Thune said the decision is “long overdue” and has been held up by government for a “really long time.”

Thune also said constituents in his home county, Jones County, are all for the project.

“They believe that it’s going to generate additional revenue for the school district. There are a lot of communities, a lot schools in South Dakota, who are trying to survive, desperately looking for ways to be able to raise the resources to be able to educate their kids. This is one way it will enable them to do that,” said Thune.

Rep. Kristi Noem and Gov. Dennis Daugaard also voiced their support for the decision, citing energy efficiency and economic benefits.

However, South Dakota Democratic Party Executive Director Suzanne Jones Pranger said the pipeline will not have a positive impact on residents.

“It’s really only helping oil companies. It’s not creating many jobs contrary to what the Republicans have been saying and on top of that, it really hurts South Dakota landowners, as well,” said Jones Pranger.

She said the concerns over the project are coming from land owners, farmers and tribal leaders.

“That’s really unfortunate that, once again, the president has put big business over the rights of individuals of this state and country,” said Jones Pranger.

Opponents of the pipeline are also concerned about the environmental impact of the Keystone XL pipeline.

Thune said analysis done by the Obama administration on the pipeline came back with “minimal to no environmental impact.”

The pipeline still needs permit approval from Nebraska before it can begin construction.

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