The issue

President Trump will sign an executive order today to resurrect construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline.

The facts

First proposed in 2010 by the private oil company TransCanada, Keystone XL is a pipeline from Alberta to Nebraska. Its proposed route has been changed multiple times to account for protests that it would run through Nebraska's environmentally sensitive Sandhills.

Construction of the pipeline would help further develop of Alberta's oil fields, which extract a form of oil called bitumen, which requires large-scale and often toxic methods for its extraction. TransCanada suspended its permitting process in 2015 after being unable to get it through the Obama administration, but said in November it still wants to do the project.

Why it matters

Short term: A win for Trump, as State Department estimates that the two year construction will create 42,000 jobs — playing right into Trump's "America first" policy — although only 35 of them will be permanent. A loss for environmental groups, who put so much into stopping the effort.

Long-term: A win for oil companies, as XL represents a major investment in Alberta's oil fields and creates a huge new supply of oil for U.S. refineries. But it's also a source for environmentalist organizers. As Nebraska environmentalist Jane Kleeb, who organized opposition to Keystone XL, put it: "We knew this would be coming. We stand and fight...."

Go deeper

Robert Mueller speaks out on Roger Stone commutation

Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller testifies before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill on Wednesday July 24, 2019. Photo: The Washington Post / Contributor

Former special counsel Robert Mueller responded to claims from President Trump and his allies that Roger Stone was a "victim" in the Justice Department's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, writing in a Washington Post op-ed published Saturday: "He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so."

Why it matters: The rare public comments by Mueller come on the heels of President Trump's move to commute the sentence of his longtime associate, who was sentenced in February to 40 months in prison for crimes stemming from the Russia investigation. The controversial decision brought an abrupt end to the possibility of Stone spending time behind bars.

Trump dons face mask during Walter Reed visit

Trump wearing a face mask in Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on July 11. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump wore a face mask during his Saturday visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, according to AP.

Why it matters: This is the first known occasion the president has appeared publicly with a facial covering as recommended by health officials since the coronavirus pandemic began, AP writes.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 12,607,510 — Total deaths: 562,338 — Total recoveries — 6,948,863Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 3,228,884 — Total deaths: 134,600 — Total recoveries: 983,185 — Total tested: 38,919,421Map.
  3. Public health: Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter: "Please wear a mask to save lives" Fauci hasn't briefed Trump on the coronavirus pandemic in at least two months — We're losing the war on the coronavirus.
  4. Food: How the coronavirus pandemic boosted alternative meat.
  5. Sports: Charge of "money grab" by college football.
  6. World: India reimposes lockdowns as coronavirus cases soar.