Trump announces Keystone XL approval

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WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump has made it official: After eight years and six months, the United States government has approved the Keystone XL pipeline.

The president announced that at the White House.

He was accompanied by the president of TransCanada Corp., the Calgary-based pipeline company that has wrestled with lawsuits, resistant landowners, protesters and Washington Democrats.

The new Republican president is removing one big obstacle, granting the permit that allows the pipeline to cross the Canada-U.S. border.

But the company must still settle issues with landowners, gain state permits and face possible court challenges before building the northern leg of the pipeline and linking it to the already completed southern leg linked to Gulf of Mexico refineries.

Keystone XL is one of several ongoing pipeline projects intended to carry oil from Alberta to refineries and international markets.