PRESS RELEASE: Heartland Institute Experts Comment on Keystone XL, Dakota Access Pipeline Executive Orders

President Donald Trump signed two executive orders intended to expedite completion of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines. The orders encourage TransCanada to reapply for a permit to complete the Keystone XL pipeline and direct the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to “review and approve [the Dakota Access Pipeline] in an expedited manner, to the extent permitted by law.”

The following statements from public policy experts at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact Deputy Director of Communications Keely Drukala at [email protected] and 312/377-4000.

“President Trump signed two executive orders to streamline the construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, righting two of former-president Obama’s wrongs.

“Americans consume 19.6 million barrels of oil per day. Ten years ago, Americans imported half of the oil used every day. Now, thanks to fracking, net oil imports have fallen to only a quarter of U.S. consumption. Pipelines are needed to transport this oil.

“Pipelines are the safest, least-expensive way to transport oil. 99.99 percent of all the oil transported via pipeline arrives safely at its destination. Transporting North Dakota oil via pipeline is about half as costly as shipping it via rail. This pipeline is vitally important to making sure oil producers can compete with countries like Venezuela and Saudi Arabia, increasing the odds American workers will have access to high-paying jobs in the fracking industry.”

Isaac Orr
Research Fellow, Energy and Environment Policy
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“President Trump’s directive to move forward with both the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines makes his presidency the gift that keeps on giving. There was never any doubt that Obama’s determination to stop those important pieces of the United States’ energy puzzle was a gift to the extremist green groups that supported him, and all but ran the EPA. There were never any environmental impacts that could seriously be considered in refusing their approval.

“It is outstanding that President Trump acted so quickly on issues that will move us further toward energy independence, and create thousands of jobs while thoroughly protecting the environment of the states through which these pipelines travel.”

Jay Lehr, Ph.D.
Science Director
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“I believe that Canada is the largest supplier of foreign oil to the United States. It gets there in part via huge dirty dangerously flammable trains of oil-bearing tank cars. Pipelines are far safer, cleaner, and cheaper, but the completion of this pipeline and others has been prevented by a seemingly endless artificial Wagnerian psychodrama. It has damaged economies and lost good jobs for good people in both countries.”

Christopher Essex
Professor, Department of Applied Mathematics
University of Western Ontario
[email protected]

“The decision to advance the pipelines is a long overdue no-brainer. Pipelines are simply safer, more economic, and present less environmental risk than does the currently used rail transport.”

Walter Starck
Policy Advisor, Environment
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“By giving the green light to the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines the Trump administration prioritizes jobs, the economy, consumers, mineral owners, and national security over radical environmentalists. It is a great day!

“The Clinton and Kerry State Department played politics with the Keystone XL pipeline, costing jobs in the United States and causing economic hardship for our good neighbors in Canada.

“The Obama administration has attacked our traditional energy industries for eight years. The Keystone XL pipeline, EPA’s Clean Power Plan and Waters of the United States rule, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Bureau of Land Management rules on hydraulic fracturing, venting of natural gas … the Obama administration’s accomplishments are impressive. They have been successful in stifling the development of traditional energy and increasing the cost of heat and electricity to consumers, especially burdening the poor and elderly.

“The Dakota Access Pipeline gives access to the Gulf Coast for Bakken oil, and that is a win for energy security, mineral owners, workers, and our economy. It means jobs for the oil, steel, and construction industries. Also, it makes sweet crude more competitive in the marketplace. It also means jobs for environmental protestors, so everyone wins!

“In President Trump the radical environmentalists have finally met a man who understands cost/benefit analysis, and acts accordingly. “

Bette Grande
Research Fellow, Energy Policy
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“Pipelines are the safest way to transport oil over land. When the Keystone XL pipeline was proposed, it made economic sense to build it. Not only was it to be built with private money, it made far more economic sense than many of the so-called ‘shovel ready’ jobs in the ‘stimulus bill’ funded by taxpayers. Whether it still makes economic sense is now up to the developers, not the arbitrary political whims of Washington.

“Stopping the Dakota Access pipeline after 98% of the pipeline was laid down was an example of how the greens infected political decisions in Washington. The pipeline was to be drilled almost 100 feet below the riverbed of the Missouri, not placed on it. But, that made little difference to those stopped it.

“Let’s hope that President Trump’s decisions are a sign of better times to come.”

Kenneth Haapala
Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)
[email protected]

“President Trump did the right thing, and with the proper urgency.

“Pipelines are cheaper, more reliable, and safer than freight trains for transporting oil, and the increase in production means our nation’s consumers and businesses will get the best prices possible. Lower energy costs also make U.S. manufacturing more competitive. That will create well-paying jobs and put people back to work.

“This is a big win for the American people, and the science shows that not a single polar bear will die because of it.”

S.T. Karnick
Director of Research
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“Former President Obama never should have blocked these pipelines that would have provided good paying jobs and increased America’s energy security. President Trump’s decision to reverse Obama’s actions and allow these pipelines to be built shows he recognizes the critical importance of oil and gas production and delivery to the country’s entire economy. Abundant, affordable energy is the foundation for economic progress. Trump’s action on Keystone XL and the Dakota Access pipeline’s are a good, early, first down-payment on his promise to put America first and ‘make America great again.’ “

H. Sterling Burnett,  Ph.D
Research Fellow
Managing Editor, ECN
Heartland Institute
(214) 909-2368