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CEO DATELINE – Associations applaud executive orders fast-tracking pipeline construction

April 11, 2019
By Walt Williams

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Business groups are praising a pair of executive orders signed by President Donald Trump on Wednesday that would lower many barriers to building new oil and natural gas pipelines.

The first order could ultimately weaken the ability of states to block the construction of pipelines running through their borders, according to NPR. The second gives the president exclusive responsibility to “issue, deny or amend” permits for infrastructure projects that cross the international boundaries of the U.S.

The orders would make it much easier for projects such as the controversial Keystone XL pipeline to move forward, although both are likely to be challenged in court. Still, many associations see the Trump administration’s actions as a step in the right direction.

“We applaud the administration for their commitment to building America’s pipeline infrastructure, helping to deliver the energy that working families and businesses rely on each and every day.,” American Petroleum Institute CEO Mike Sommers said in a joint statement with the National Association of Manufacturers and North America’s Building Trades Unions.

Christopher Guith, acting president of the U.S. Chamber’s Global Energy Institute, said the president’s actions “represent meaningful progress to address some of the most pressing issues that commonly result in permitting delays.”

At the same time, Association of American Railroads CEO Ian Jefferies said the orders will help enhance U.S. energy security and reduce infrastructure inefficiencies.

“Streamlining processes to better realize our nation’s abundant resources should be noncontroversial, as it will help create quality jobs for Americans and make energy more affordable,” he said.