President Trump has issued a presidential edict to “construct, connect, operate, and maintain pipeline facilities at the international border” at Phillips County, Montana, “for the import of oil from Canada to the United States.” The edict thus provides TransCanada, the Canadian pipeline company, a significant boost as it considers its final investment decision on the $8 billion project.
Still weighing heavily on this decision are internal state deliberations in Nebraska and South Dakota. In this regard the Nebraska Supreme Court must rule on an opposition challenge to the state Public Service Commission’s approval of an alternate route to the path championed by TransCanada. TransCanada will also need multiple water quality permits for the project in South Dakota.
Kieran Suckling, executive director for the Center for Biological Diversity, told HuffPost in a statement that “by personally approving the climate-killing Keystone XL pipeline, President Trump is showing complete contempt for the law and the idea of leaving a livable planet for future generations.” Other conservationists, like Anthony Swift, Director of the Canada project at the Natural Resources Defense Council, are expressing their disdain for Trump's decision: “The Keystone XL tar sands pipeline was a bad idea from day one and it remains a terrible idea. If built, it would threaten our land, our drinking water, and our communities from Montana and Nebraska to the Gulf Coast."
American refineries along the Gulf coast are pressuring the Trump administration to move forward with Keystone, especially in light of the cutoff in heavy oil exports from Venezuela.
In the best case scenario for these refineries, Canadian Tar Sands crude would likely not flow until 2020. So it seems unlikely that there will be any immediate remedy to what could be a long - term structural problem.