A lot of interesting and controversial changes are moving forward in the Oval Office, the latest of which is President Trump's green-lighting of the "construction of two controversial oil pipelines, the Keystone XL and the Dakota Access."
While President Trump did say his team is looking "to renegotiate some of the terms" of the projects, the pipelines would still cause issues. The Keystone XL, for instance, would carry crude oil from western Canada through to the Gulf Coast.
The Keystone XL project, which will create "28,000 construction jobs," was put on hold during the Obama administration and even outright rejected by the State Department. President Obama ordered a halt on the Dakota Access pipeline after "Native American groups and other activists protested its route near culturally sensitive sites in North Dakota."
According to NPR, President Trump even says the pipelines will be built with American steel "like we used to in the old days." Two other decrees would push through "the incredibly cumbersome, long, horrible permitting process and reducing regulatory burdens for domestic manufacturing" and expedite environmental reviews and approvals "for high-priority infrastructure projects."
Trump's green light has sparked new debate over the pipeline projects. Even though the projects would create new jobs, something Trump promised during his run for office, environmentalists claim the increased activity will release more "climate-warming carbon into the atmosphere."
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe said it will take "legal action to fight Trump's decision," claiming the DAPL "risks contaminating tribal and American water supplies while disregarding treaty rights."
While President Trump claims he is an environmentalist, he admits the projects have gotten "out of control, and we're going to make a very short process, and we're going to either give you your permits or we're not going to give you your permits, but you're going to know very quickly."
These were two of the five actions signed in an Oval Office ceremony today (January 24, 2017). The other actions expedite review and approval processes, as well as decree that all materials for these projects should be built in the United States.
Remember to breathe, folks.