Environment

Trump issues presidential permit to start Keystone XL construction

Protests about the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline
Trump's announcement of the construction of Keystone XL Pipeline sparked protests among environmental groups and Native Americans. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump signed a presidential permit on Friday to authorize construction of the Keystone XL pipeline across the border between Canada and the U.S. 2 years after he initially approved the project, reports the AP.

Details: The permit allows TransCanada Corporation to begin construction on the pipeline at the Montana border to import oil between the 2 countries. A federal district court judge in Montana blocked the construction of the pipeline in November 2017, and ordered an environmental review according to the Washington Post.

Expert Voices

Converting coal-fired plants can save jobs and provide cleaner energy

a coal-fired power plant giving off smoke
A coal-fired power plant outside Delta, Utah. Photo: George Frey/Getty Images

2018 was the second-highest year for retirements of coal-fired power plants in the U.S. In the wake of plant closures, some communities are converting these facilities into production sites for lower-carbon energy sources.

Why it matters: Coal-fired plants have long been seen as economic boons for rural counties, despite the harmful effects of their pollution on local residents. Converting them can both mitigate job losses and help meet energy demands more sustainably.