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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.

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