A Trump White House, with the stroke of a pen, could reverse the Obama administration’s course on the Keystone XL oil pipeline and put the once-shelved project on a fast track to completion.
Analysts said the key to President Obama’s rejection of the pipeline last year was a George W. Bush-era executive order giving the State Department a say in energy projects that cross international boundaries. Voiding that executive order would return the decision to energy regulators, who have been far more amenable to Keystone.
“I predict this pipeline will get finished and be in full operation in the next 18 to 24 months,” said Brigham McCown, who served as first acting administrator of the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration in 2005 and 2006. “Once President Trump says, ‘Make this happen,’ I think you’ll see the government swing back and make that happen.”