By Peter Baker And Coral Davenport
WASHINGTON – President Trump moved assertively on Tuesday to further dismantle his predecessor’s policies as he revived the Keystone XL pipeline that stirred years of debate over the balance between the nation’s energy needs and efforts to stem climate change.
Former President Barack Obama rejected the proposed 1,179-mile pipeline in 2015, arguing that it would undercut U.S. leadership in curbing the reliance on carbon energy. Trump signed a document clearing the way to government approval of the pipeline as well as for another called the Dakota Access pipeline in North Dakota.
The decision came a day after Trump formally abandoned the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an ambitious, 12-nation trade pact negotiated by Obama. In his opening days in office, Trump has also signed an order that begins to unravel Obama’s health care program,reversed his policies on abortion and housing and ordered a freeze of any pending regulations left behind by the outgoing administration.
As proposed by a Canadian firm, the Keystone pipeline would carry 800,000 barrels a day from the Canadian oil sands to the Gulf Coast. Republicans and some Democrats argued that the project would create jobs and expand energy resources, while environmentalists said it would encourage a form of oil extraction that produces more gases that warm the planet than normal petroleum.