President Trump is expected to sign two executive actions that would advance construction on the Dakota Access pipelines.
President Trump will sign two executive actions Tuesday that would advance construction of the controversial Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines.
The expected actions follow months of protests by environmentalists and Native American groups in North Dakota against the Dakota project, a $3.8-billion pipeline that would bring crude oil from the state's Bakken oil patch through the Midwest and into the U.S. Gulf Coast.
Construction on the project was halted in December after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers denied a permit for the pipeline to cross under a Missouri River reservoir in the area so it could explore alternate routes.
The 1,172-mile-long pipeline spanning four states had been the subject of raucous, and at times bloody, protests for months at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, which straddles the border of North and South Dakota, that said the $3.8 billion pipeline threatened the tribe's water source and cultural sites.
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The Keystone XL oil pipeline, which would run from Canada to U.S. refineries in the Gulf Coast, was rejected in November 2015 by former President Barack Obama, following a seven-year campaign by environmentalists against it.
Trump's executive actions adhere to his oft-stated desire to ease, or eliminate altogether, regulations, including ones pertaining to the environment, to help spur economic growth.
A crowd cheers in front of the White House in Washington to celebrate Former President Obama's rejection of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline in November. (ALEX BRANDON/AP)
Trump, nevertheless, dubbed himself an environmentalist Monday morning.
During a breakfast meeting with auto industry executives at the White House, Trump told reporters he was a "very big person when it comes to the environment."
"I have received awards on the environment," he claimed.
Tuesday's actions would also mark yet another day of aggressive policy decisions by Trump.
A day earlier, his first Monday in the White House, he signed a trio of orders that pulled the U.S. out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, froze the hiring of federal workers and reinstated a ban on providing federal money to international groups that perform abortions.