Undersecretary of State Tom Shannon on Friday signed a presidential permit for the controversial project ahead of a Monday deadline for evaluating it. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the former CEO of Exxon Mobil, had recused himself from the process. The president is expected to make an announcement on the decision later Friday morning.
Trump has been a vocal cheerleader of the 1,700-mile pipeline to bring Canadian tar sands oil through Montana and South Dakota to Nebraska, where it would link up with existing pipelines. Like other advocates for the project, the president has said it will create construction jobs and strengthen the country’s energy security.
As an extra lift to American workers, Trump had previously promised the Keystone would be constructed with domestic steel.
The administration earlier this month abandoned that pledge and granted TransCanada an exemption to use foreign steel during construction.
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