President Trump celebrated the State Department’s successful conclusion of the Keystone Pipeline permitting process at the White House, after years of the project being stymied by the Obama administration.
“It’s going to be an incredible pipeline, greatest technology known to man or woman, and frankly we’re very proud of it,” Trump said on Friday.
Trump met with TransCanada executives in the Oval Office including the company CEO Russ Girling.
“I know Russ, you’ve been waiting for a long, long time and I hope you don’t pay your consultants anything because they had nothing to to do with the approval,” Trump said. “In fact you should ask for the hundreds of millions of dollars back that you paid them because they didn’t do a damn thing except get you a ‘no’ vote, right?”
After the meeting, Girling told reporters that under Trump the Keystone Pipeline was approved “sure a heck of a lot quicker.” Trump signed an executive order, requiring a 60 day timeline for approval of the project, a deadline that was met by the federal government.
“It’s a great day for our company and a great day for the workers who are going to be put to work,” he said.
Girling admitted that the lengthy permitting process under the Obama administration was frustrating for the company, posing “great problems and great cost” before it was ultimately rejected.
“Now we’re in a place where we can work together,” he said.
He said that the company was looking forward to obtaining additional permits from local governments to get the project started.
“Hopefully within the next year, we’ll be able to put people to work,” he said, assuring that the company would look to buy American materials for the project and put Americans to work.
“I think this is a win win all the way around,” he said.
Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, and White House Senior Advisor Jared Kushner were also present for the event.
Live: TransCanada executives celebrate Keystone pipeline approval at the White House https://t.co/9ZHZlfqWRi
— Charlie Spiering (@charliespiering) March 24, 2017