President Donald Trump on Wednesday issued an executive order aimed at blocking a proposed $8 billion pipeline that would carry oil from Canada’s tar sands to refineries along the U.A.E. border.
The order, which has been delayed, seeks to block the TransCanada Keystone XL from moving forward in the face of environmental concerns and other legal challenges.
In his first executive action since becoming president, Trump signed an executive action directing the Environmental Protection Agency to study the environmental impacts of the proposed pipeline and to make recommendations to the president.
The Keystone XL would carry about 800,000 barrels per day of crude oil from Alberta, Canada, to refiners along the Gulf Coast of Texas.
The Obama administration had argued that it would increase energy security and bring economic growth to the U, which already has the second-highest per capita oil consumption in the world.
The pipeline would cross the border in Texas and move the oil to refiner terminals in the U., where it would be processed.
However, the Keystone XL was rejected by the Trump administration in 2016.
The Environmental Protection Order issued by the president on Wednesday directed the EPA to study TransCanada’s proposal to transport oil from tar sands in Canada to refinery terminals along the gulf coast of Texas through an environmental review process that would include environmental impacts, economic impacts, transportation and safety considerations.
The executive order also directed the Interior Department to submit a draft environmental impact statement to the secretary of the interior, who would then make a decision on whether to approve or deny TransCanada the pipeline.
The move comes after the Trump transition team had said in December that it wanted to speed up the approval process for the pipeline because it would help to address climate change.
TransCanada has not said how it will proceed with the Keystone pipeline, which is expected to carry an estimated 590,000 to 800,00 barrels per year of oil.
It has said it is considering a number of possible routes to the Gulf of Mexico.
The Trump administration has said the pipeline would bring jobs to the United States.
The oil sands, which contain up to 99 percent carbon dioxide, are the largest source of crude in the United State, and have been the subject of intense debate over their environmental impact and environmental benefits.
The industry has faced intense pressure from environmental groups to stop the project and, in 2016, the Obama administration rejected the proposal.
The Interior Department, which was supposed to make a final determination on the project by the end of next year, said in January that it was considering a “potential” route to the Texas Gulf Coast through the state.
In its executive order, the Trump team said it had asked the department to “consider expediting its review and expediting the issuance of a final decision, or a final order, on the Keystone Pipeline.”