Reversing policies of his predecessor, President Donald Trump yesterday issued executive orders and memorandums to clear the way for construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline and the Dakota Access pipeline. Trump also signed an order weakening environmental reviews. Critics of the pipelines question their necessity and economic impact and worry about impacts on the environment and local communities. The Dakota Access pipeline has been met with large, ongoing protests by Native American tribes.
Arkansas Republicans raved about the moves. Here’s Sen. John Boozman‘s statement:
I welcome the president’s decision to allow work on the the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines to move forward. The fact that this was one of the first items on President Trump’s agenda speaks volumes about how his administration will prioritize job creation, energy infrastructure and economic opportunity. After years of needless delays and partisan obstruction from the previous administration, it is encouraging to see the president take immediate action that will benefit Americans and our economy.
And Sen. Tom Cotton:
I’m very glad to see the president take these steps, which will begin to undo the harm caused by years of needless delays. Building the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines will lower energy costs and create jobs across the country and in Arkansas at places like Welspun tubular. Producing more American-made energy also makes us safer by decreasing our reliance on the turbulent Middle East. These pipelines are a win for both Arkansas and America, and I applaud the president for supporting them.
U.S. Representatives Bruce Westerman, French Hill, Rick Crawford, and Steve Womack also backed Trump’s moves.