Matt Koch
Former Vice President, U.S. Chamber Global Energy Institute


March 24, 2017


Today, President Trump announced that his Administration granted the cross border permit needed for the Keystone XL pipeline.

This decision signals that the President is serious about building needed infrastructure to help put Americans back to work and improve North American energy and economic security. After nine years of politicized processes and decision making on pipeline infrastructure by the Obama Administration, this is a welcome move forward for our entire nation.

With this major barrier removed, environmental opponents are intensifying their efforts to derail Keystone XL in Nebraska, where it still awaits state approval and a permit to begin construction. Montana and South Dakota have already awarded construction permits for the project, but Nebraska has recently begun its permit application review process and hopes to make a decision by September, 2017.

Keystone XL opponents and “keep it in the ground” activists, determined to stop this and other pipeline projects, will sue the federal government to stop Keystone XL . To stop the project in Nebraska, expect that they will utilize every tool available with a vengeance just as they have in other instances– endless lawsuits; appeals; demonstrations; and as highlighted by the U.S. Chamber’s Sean Hackbarth, utter lawlessness.

Nebraskans are quite familiar with this issue from the previous permitting efforts, and the business community is wasting no time making it clear where they stand.

Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Barry Kennedy today said: “The Nebraska Chamber fully supports the Keystone XL project because of the benefits it will provide to Nebraska’s families and the state’s economy, as well as America’s long term energy needs. Nebraskans will always be part of the solution, not part of the problem.”

Suppliers of all types of American energy continue to face tremendous opposition by “keep it in the ground” and “not in my backyard” extremists. Nonetheless, despite being restrained by over-burdensome regulations, politically motivated delays, and uncertainty during the last eight years, the outlook for building much needed energy infrastructure is vastly improved.

This morning, President Trump said “it is a new era for American energy policy” and added “today, we begin to make things right and to do things right.” This sentiment is welcomed and long past due.

This originally appeared on the Institute for 21st Century Energy's blog.

About the authors

Matt Koch

Matt Koch is former vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Energy Institute.