The White House has been on the offensive in the days since President Trump took office, and that’s led to a flurry of high-profile fights over whether the president should be allowed to issue executive orders on pipelines and other projects.
The latest one comes from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which announced on Monday that it has filed a request for public comment on the Keystone XL pipeline.
The proposed pipeline, which would carry crude oil from Alberta to Illinois, is currently undergoing an environmental assessment process, and the pipeline is slated to be built by Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners.
At issue are the Keystone’s proposed route and whether it would meet the U,S.
Environmental Protection Agency’s standards.
As part of the process, the agency is considering a number of factors, including whether it is necessary to carry oil from the United States to the Gulf Coast, whether it’s feasible to transport the oil on ships, and whether the pipeline would not pollute the Gulf of Mexico.
According to the Army Corps, the “substantial environmental assessment” will take place at the end of this month.
But while the agency may be interested in whether the project meets the EPA’s standards, it isn’t actually seeking comment from the public.
Instead, the Army is seeking comments from the oil industry and environmental groups.
“The public has a right to know whether the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline, if approved, would pose a risk to the environment or public health,” said the Army in a statement.
While the public’s voice is important, “a public hearing would be premature and should be avoided in order to provide the public with a fair opportunity to participate in the decision-making process,” the statement continued.
Environmental groups are concerned about the environmental impact of the pipeline.
They argue that the pipeline could pollute local waterways and cause a “severe impact on drinking water resources.”
In addition to the proposed route, the pipeline has already caused a slew of accidents on the Gulf coast.
In 2015, a pipeline operator crashed a tanker carrying crude oil on the Missouri River, causing the death of a pregnant woman and spilling 4.4 million gallons of oil in the river.
In 2015, an oil tanker ran aground and spilled oil in an oil spill in the Gulf.
And in 2016, a company owned by TransCanada, the Canadian oil sands company, spilled oil on a beach in Louisiana.
Some of the problems with the Keystone have been brought to light by a report by the Environmental Protection Information Center (EPA), which found that the proposed pipeline would likely pose a “significant” risk to drinking water, the environment, wildlife, and human health.
For example, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that a spill would likely occur in the pipeline’s path through the Ogallala Aquifer, a system of aquifers that supplies drinking water to nearly 200 million Americans.
Another report, by the Institute for Energy Research, found that while the pipeline will be built on federal land, it would likely pollute water supplies throughout the state.
Even if the pipeline passes the EPA, the project has the potential to create more environmental pollution than the project currently does.
Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the pipeline, has claimed that it will have a safe pipeline.
But environmental groups have also said that the company’s environmental record is inconsistent.
To date, Energy Transfer has received a number, but not all, of the environmental studies that the Army would be required to complete.
It’s unclear whether the Army will actually use the public comment period to make a final decision.
Instead, the public will be able to submit their comments through the Army’s website.
(h/t: New York Daily News)