WASHINGTON --The Trump administration has issued a presidential permit to pipeline builder TransCanada to build the Keystone XL pipeline.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer tweeted that President Donald Trump would discuss the pipeline later Friday morning.
The State Department says that it determined that building Keystone serves the U.S. national interest. That's the opposite conclusion to the one the State Department reached during the Obama administration.
The State Department says it considered foreign policy and energy security in making the determination.
The permit was signed by Tom Shannon, a career diplomat serving as undersecretary of state for political affairs. That's because Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recused himself due to his previous work running Exxon Mobil.
Keystone will carry tar sands oil from Canada to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast.
A statement from the U.S. Department of State reads:
"The Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs has issued a Presidential permit to TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, L.P. ("TransCanada") authorizing TransCanada to construct, connect, operate, and maintain pipeline facilities at the U.S.-Canadian border in Phillips County, Montana for the importation of crude oil.
The Department of State reviewed TransCanada's application in accordance with Executive Order 13337 (April 30, 2004) and the January 24, 2017 Presidential Memorandum Regarding Construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. In making his determination that issuance of this permit would serve the national interest, the Under Secretary considered a range of factors, including but not limited to foreign policy; energy security; environmental, cultural, and economic impacts; and compliance with applicable law and policy.
The permit was signed by Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas A. Shannon, Jr.
Additional information concerning the Keystone XL pipeline facilities and documents related to the Department of State's review of the application for a Presidential permit can be found on the https://keystonepipeline-xl.state.gov/.