President Trump signed executive orders Tuesday advancing the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, breathing new life into projects that were halted by the Obama administration and vehemently opposed by environmental and Native American groups.
Congressmen who represent the metro-east applauded the action.
U.S. Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro, said the president’s action “is a victory for the American worker, the American consumer and American national security.”
Bost said the project “will create American jobs and substantially reduce our reliance on energy from unstable foreign sources. It’s unfortunate that these commonsense projects had previously been held up by anti-energy ideologues.”
Bost said he’s “very encouraged by this executive action, and I’m committed to working with President Trump and his administration to move forward with infrastructure projects that will boost our economy and create good-paying jobs in Southern Illinois.”
U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, R-Collinsville, issued a statement saying he looks forward to “working with a president and an administration that value American energy affordability, jobs, security and new infrastructure development. It is time for the federal government to stop picking winners and losers in the energy sector.”
U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, said the pipelines are “an opportunity to bring back energy and manufacturing jobs that have historically provided a better life for middle class Americans and their families.”
The Dakota pipeline’s southern terminus is the oil storage hub of Patoka, which is about 75 miles east of St. Louis. Existing pipelines fan out in every direction, including to the Gulf Coast, home to half the nation’s refining capacity.
Other pipelines radiating from Patoka supply big refining operations, including Phillips 66 in Wood River; BP in Whiting, Indiana; and Marathon in Catlettsburg, Kentucky.
Trump said the U.S. will renegotiate both pipelines, which were stopped by the Obama administration because of their effects on the environment and climate. In taking the action, Trump fulfilled a pledge he made to voters on the campaign trail.
“This is with regard to the construction of the Keystone pipeline, something that’s been in dispute and it’s subject to renegotiation by us,” Trump said Tuesday as he signed the executive orders. “We’re going to renegotiate some of the terms, and if they’d like, we’ll see if we can get that pipeline built.”
If built, the Keystone XL Pipeline would carry crude oil from the oil sands of Alberta, Canada, and the oil fields of North Dakota to refineries in Texas. It was proposed nearly a decade ago by the Canadian energy company TransCanada.