Keystone XL Pipeline

Updated at 11 a.m. ET Friday

The U.S. State Department has signed and issued a presidential permit to construct the Keystone XL pipeline. That reverses former President Barack Obama's 2015 decision to reject the controversial pipeline.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel and Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill about the retirement announcement of Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel amid an audit showing alleged mismanagement of funds at the county jail, President Trump's nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court Neil Gorsuch has ties to the Sooner State and U.S. Senate Republicans change the rules to avoid a Democratic boycott of Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency.

Just as President Trump takes power promising to ramp up oil and gas production, a sudden resignation in a key agency threatens to put such projects on hold across the United States.

On Thursday, Norman Bay, one of just three current members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), said he would resign effective Feb. 3, even though his term isn't up until next year. His announcement came shortly after Trump decided Bay's fellow commissioner, Cheryl LaFleur, would serve as the Commission's new chair.

The company that wants to build the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline says it has submitted a new permit application to the U.S. State Department.

The TransCanada announcement came just two days after President Trump took executive actions to speed the approval process for both the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines.

The Trump administration is pushing forward with plans for two major oil pipelines in the U.S., projects that sparked nationwide demonstrations and legal fights under President Barack Obama.

President Trump on Tuesday gave the go-ahead for construction of two controversial oil pipelines, the Keystone XL and the Dakota Access.

As he signed the paperwork in an Oval Office photo op, Trump said his administration is "going to renegotiate some of the terms" of the Keystone project, which would carry crude oil from the tar sands of western Canada and connect to an existing pipeline to the Gulf Coast.

TransCanada, the company behind the Keystone XL pipeline, is suing the U.S. government because President Obama struck down the next step in the pipeline plan in November. The company says Obama's rejection exceeded his authority under the Constitution, NPR's Jeff Brady reports.

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Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline has prompted some head scratching in Texas. From member station KUT in Austin, Mose Buchele explains why.

Political leaders and energy officials in Oklahoma are roundly criticizing President Barack Obama's decision to reject a Canadian energy company's application to build the Keystone XL pipeline.

Gov. Mary Fallin called the decision "mind-boggling," saying the pipeline would drive economic growth.

Ending a process that has lingered for much of his time in the Oval Office, President Obama announced Friday that the U.S. has rejected TransCanada's application for a permit to complete the Keystone XL pipeline.

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