(NYDAILYNEWS) President Trump signed two executive actions Tuesday that will advance construction of the controversial Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines.
The actions follow months of protests by environmentalists and Native American groups in North Dakota against the Dakota Access 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.
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 make good on campaign promises to help move the pipelines forward and adhere to his oft-stated desire to ease, or eliminate altogether, regulations, including ones pertaining to the environment, to help spur economic growth.
Environment groups pounced after news of the actions broke.