Donald Trump signs permit for construction of TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL oil pipeline

WASHINGTON, May 8, 2018 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Donald Trump signs a presidential memorandum at the White House in Washington D.C., the United States, on May 8, 2018. U.S. President Donald Trump said here on Tuesday that the United States will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, a landmark agreement signed in 2015. (Xinhua/Ting Shen/IANS)

Washington: US President Donald Trump has signed a permit for the construction of TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL oil pipeline, allowing the long-delayed project to move forward despite environmental concerns.

In November 2018, US District Court Judge Brian Morris in Montana ruled to halt the construction of the disputed oil pipeline, demanding the energy company complete a supplemental environmental review before advancing the project, reports Xinhua news agency.

Trump’s new permit supersedes a March 2017 order, which was invalidated by the Montana judge a few months ago.

The President’s new order on Friday is seen as a way to circumvent the Montana judge’s ruling.

FILE – In this Nov. 3, 2015 file photo, the Keystone Steele City pumping station, into which the planned Keystone XL pipeline is to connect to, is seen in Steele City, Neb. The company that wants to build the Keystone XL pipeline is asking a Montana judge to change his order blocking the project to allow pre-construction work to continue, such as purchasing materials and finalizing contracts. Attorneys for the company will argue in a Wed. Nov.28, 2018, telephone conference that U.S. District Judge Brian Morris should clarify or amend his ruling to say the injunction does not apply to activities such as finalizing contracts, purchasing materials, conducting land surveys and discussing federal permits. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)

The Keystone XL project, first proposed in 2008, was to run from Canada’s Alberta oil sands through the states of Montana and South Dakota to Nebraska, where it would connect with existing pipelines to carry more than 800,000 barrels of crude oil a day to refineries along the US Gulf Coast.

The project was rejected by former President Barack Obama’s administration in November 2015, because Democrats and environmental groups said it could worsen climate change.

The Trump administration reversed the decision and granted a presidential permit to TransCanada for building the pipeline in March 2017, claiming it would create a lot of jobs.