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W.Va. senators back Trump plans for oil pipelines

The Parkersburg News and Sentinel

WASHINGTON — West Virginia’s two senators were in support Tuesday of President Donald Trump reviving efforts to build the Keystone XL Pipeline to carry Canadian crude oil to refineries in the United States.

The president also signed an executive order reviving the Dakota Access pipeline, which also was stymied by the administration of President Barack Obama, and clearing the way for the government’s approval of the project.

“President Trump’s commitment to affordable, reliable energy and jobs is a refreshing change,” Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., said. “I have long said that we must invest in the critical infrastructure needed to fuel our economy, protect energy security and get Americans back to work. Today’s action is an encouraging sign that the Trump Administration is prioritizing energy jobs.”

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., also issued a statement on Trump’s executive order for the Keystone Pipeline.

“What this country needs is more jobs, and that is why I have always been a proponent of the Keystone XL Pipeline and was an original cosponsor of legislation approving the Keystone XL Pipeline project,” he said. “As I’ve said before, we must address the critical issues of moving America toward energy independence, while continuing to foster job growth and economic prosperity. Multiple studies have shown that the Keystone XL pipeline is a job creator and would limit our dependence on foreign oil and transported oil in the most environmentally friendly way possible. The pipeline will help us reach these goals as we partner with one of our strongest allies, Canada. With a majority of Americans in support of the Keystone XL pipeline’s construction, I’m glad we are finally moving forward with this important project.”

Generally opposed by environmental groups, the proposed 1,179-mile Keystone Pipeline could carry 800,000 barrels of oil a day from Canada to Gulf Coast refineries in the United States.

The Dakota Access project is a 1,172-mile pipeline under Lake Oahe to carry oil from the shale oil reserves in North Dakota to refineries and distribution points in Illinois. However, Native American groups, including the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, are in opposition and have protested, saying the project threatens water supplies and disturbs sacred burial and archaeological sites.

Alternative routes were ordered by the Army Corps of Engineers last year.

Rep. David B. McKinley, R-W.Va., said the executive order removes federal barriers to begin construction, but keeps in place the permit process to be overseen by the affected states.

“The construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines are long past due. It’s time to push an anti-energy agenda aside and do what’s best for the country. Investing in our nation’s energy infrastructure will not only create thousands of jobs, it will also allow us to transport energy sources in a safe and reliable manner,” said McKinley.

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