On January 24, 2017, President Donald Trump issued an Executive Order and two Presidential Memoranda directing relevant federal agencies to take expedited review and approval action on various infrastructure projects, including the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipeline projects. Additionally, President Trump issued a Presidential Memorandum directing relevant federal agencies to develop a plan under which all new U.S. pipeline projects will use domestically sourced materials and equipment.
In the Executive Order, President Trump stated that “infrastructure projects in the United States have been routinely and excessively delayed by agency processes and procedures.” To expedite agency review, President Trump directed the Chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality (“CEQ”), upon request or on his or her own initiative, to identify “high priority” infrastructure projects that require federal review and approval. For those infrastructure projects identified as high priority, President Trump directed the Chairman of the CEQ to coordinate with the relevant government agencies to establish expedited review procedures and approval deadlines.
In two related Presidential Memoranda, President Trump directed the relevant government agencies to expedite review of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines. As to Keystone XL, President Trump invited the pipeline to resubmit its application for a Presidential Permit to the United States Department of State. President Trump also directed the Secretary of State to reach a permitting decision within 60 days of the application being resubmitted. Additionally, President Trump directed the Secretary of the Army to expedite review of requests for approvals related to Keystone XL, including requests under Nationwide Permit 12 to cross bodies of water owned by the U.S. As to Dakota Access, President Trump directed the Secretary of the Army and other relevant department heads to expedite the review of all requests for permits and easements necessary to construct the project.
In a third Presidential Memorandum, President Trump required the Secretary of Commerce to coordinate with other relevant federal agencies to submit a plan within 180 days that ensures that all new pipelines, as well as pipelines that will be expanded, repaired, or retrofitted in the U.S., use domestically sourced materials. More specifically, the Presidential Memorandum states that the plan should require that the manufacturing process for iron and steel products used to construct the pipelines occur in the U.S.