APTN National News
U.S. President Donald Trump signed executive orders to push ahead with two massive pipeline projects.
Trump, who was inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States Friday, has always maintained his support of the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipeline projects.
On Tuesday, Trump moved from words to action.
“We’re going to put a lot of steelworkers back to work,” said Trump as he signed the documents.
“We’re going to renegotiate some of the terms, and if they’d like, we’ll see if we can get that pipeline built,” said Trump of the Keystone pipeline.
Trump then signed an executive order on Dakota Access pipeline and said the terms would also be renegotiated.
Trump also signed an order to speed up regulatory and environmental approvals of large infrastructure projects saying projects too often get tied up waiting years for approvals.
The order is expected to allow the Dakota Access group to finish the controversial project in North Dakota that may include tunnelling under Lake Oahe.
Both projects stalled under former president Barack Obama.
Trump was asked to send a comment to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe but was cut off by an aide.
But he did let reporters know how he felt about the regulatory process in the U.S.
“The regulatory process in this country is a tangled mess,” he said.
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.
The news will not be received well by the Tribe that has fought against the project across their territory.
In late summer through the fall there were violent clashes between Standing Rock supporters who called themselves water protectors, and local and state police who used water, pepper spray, rubber bullets, Tasers and sound cannons against them. Hundreds of people were arrested.
The Standing Rock Tribe says they were not consulted on the project, that it is destroying historical artifacts and that building under Lake Oahe is too risky.
The Keystone XL pipeline has not been as big an issue after Obama refused to approve the pipeline that runs from Alberta to the U.S. Gulf coast.
The project has the support of the Canadian government to move bitumen to outside markets.
– with files from The Canadian Press