On Friday, the Department of State announced that the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, a controversial project linking the crude oil produced in Canada and North Dakota to refineries on the Gulf Coast, will move forward. Acting Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Shannon Jr. issued the permit after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the former head of Exxon Mobil, recused himself from the decision, the New York Timesreports.
Environmental groups are gearing up again for legal battles over the pipeline, which was thought to be defeated after President Barack Obama rejected the project in 2015 amid strong protests. Supporters of the pipeline lauded the decision as a win for America’s economy and energy security.
Construction of the pipeline is expected to lead to thousands of jobs, though few would remain permanent past construction. “Once built the State Department has estimated the pipeline will employ about 35 people,” NPR reports.