April 11 (UPI) — President Donald Trump signed a pair of executive orders Wednesday aiming to increase the production and transportation of oil and natural gas.
Trump traveled to Texas to sign the two orders that would make it more difficult for states to block the construction of oil and gas pipelines such as the Keystone XL pipeline by altering governmental oversight.
“My action today will cut through the destructive permitting and denials,” Trump said at the International Union of Operating Engineers International Training and Education Center. “Under this administration, we’ve ended the war on American energy.”
The first order instructs the Environmental Protection Agency to review regulations regarding the Clean Water Act in relation to establishing new pipelines. The second order transfers authority over approving construction of international pipelines from the secretary of state to the president.
Trump said the approval process for new pipelines will take “no more than 60 days” under the new orders, adding that “the president, not the bureaucracy” will make the final decision.
“Too often, badly needed energy infrastructure is being held back by special-interest groups, entrenched bureaucracies and radical activists,” Trump said. “This obstruction does not just hurt families and workers like you. It undermines our independence and national security.”
The Natural Resources Defense Council condemned Trump’s orders as “another gift to polluters at the expense of our health and welfare, adding that pipelines pose environmental dangers to water, farms and the climate.
“Developers of pipelines or dams don’t want state leaders or local residents to scrutinize or restrict harmful projects — but that demonstrates why states’ authority to do so is so important,” the group wrote on Twitter.