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BPC’s Grumet on Pipeline Executive Orders

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Washington, D.C.– Bipartisan Policy Center President Jason Grumet today made the following statement regarding President Trump’s executive orders seeking to restart the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipeline projects:

“Today, President Trump fulfilled his campaign promise to support construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines. These pipelines, like all major infrastructure projects, raise significant concerns for local residents. The bitter fights over these projects symbolize our failure at all levels of government to act on the broadly shared desire to rebuild America. Our tendency as a nation is to adore infrastructure in general and oppose any projects that disrupt our own lives. It is time we shift the national conversation away from two pipelines and back to the national imperative to rejuvenate and expand our nation’s aging infrastructure.

“While some will strongly disagree with these decisions, all should appreciate that decisions are being made.”  

“Unless we directly confront and embrace our nation’s shared interest in advancing critical projects, no amount of funding will make a real difference. The permitting process exists to reconcile competing local, national, economic and environmental interests. At present the process is cumbersome, unpredictable and in many cases—like the Dakota Access Pipeline—fails to effectively engage local concerns. These processes must be improved, but all parties suffer if affirmative decisions cannot be relied upon.

“The Obama administration’s failure to make timely and consistent decisions on these two projects subsumed and unnecessarily polarized the national debate over energy policy. While some will strongly disagree with these decisions, all should appreciate that decisions are being made.”