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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.

Why it matters: Stephan Volker, a lawyer who represented environmentalists during a lawsuit to stop the pipeline, said it was unlikely for the construction of the pipeline to continue without a court order, per the Washington Post.

Our thought bubble: This move reaffirms Trump's longstanding support for the pipeline, but it's unclear whether it does much else. The project is mired in legal and permitting setbacks that are unlikely to be resolved by a presidential permit.

Axios reached out to the White House regarding the presidential permit, but has not heard back.

Go Deeper: Trump will reverse Obama's actions on Keystone XL and Dakota pipelines

Go deeper

Focus group: Red flags for Biden infrastructure plan

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

Some swing voters say President Biden needs to better explain who'll pay for his $2 trillion infrastructure plan — and they'll only back bipartisan legislation that's paid for by corporations, not the middle class.

Why it matters: These takeaways from our latest Engagious/Schlesinger focus groups offer crucial context for an administration basing much of its legislative strategy on polls showing Americans notionally favor spending on roads, bridges, job training and broadband access.

Polish leader says U.S. must show democracy's resilience

Radosław Sikorski. Photo: Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Donald Trump's tumultuous presidency and the Jan. 6 Capitol assault are signals that people are “less enamored” by democracy, a former Polish foreign minister who has the ear of the White House and Congress tells Axios.

Why it matters: Radosław Sikorski, currently a member of the European Parliament, said it’s critical that democratic countries like the U.S. now showcase their resilience to the world.

Veiled attacks rile Virginia governor's race

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A new political group in Virginia is taking pains to keep the people behind it a secret. And one candidate in the state's gubernatorial race claims it is buying ads designed to falsely make it look like they're coming from him.

Why it matters: The group, dubbed the Patriot Leadership Trust, has succeeded in hiding the identities of its principals, depriving Virginians of information about the people and interests seeking to sway their votes in a bellwether off-year race.