Former President Obama stopped work on the pipeline but it was revived under President Trump. The Senate overrode Obama's veto to authorize the pipeline.
On Wednesday, the Trump administration approved a right-of-way permitting the $8 billion Keystone XL oil sands pipeline to be built across 46 miles of land controlled by the federal government, taking a giant step toward completing the full construction of the pipeline.
As the Associated Press noted, the 1,200 mile pipeline had already garnered the requisite permits from states and localities to be built, but until Wednesday the section in Montana controlled by the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had been off-limits.
Casey Hammond, assistant secretary of the Interior Department, confirmed that Interior Secretary David Bernhardt had signed off on the agreement.
The Keystone pipeline had already been built in June 2010 traveling over 2,100 miles from Hardisty, Alberta in Canada through Steele City, Nebraska to Wood River Refinery in Roxana, Illinois and Patoka Oil Terminal just north of Patoka, Illinois. In 2011, the Keystone-Cushing extension (Phase II) was completed, running almost 300 miles Steele City to Cushing, Oklahoma. In January 2014, Phase III was completed, running roughly 500 miles from Cushing to refineries in Port Arthur, Texas. In 2016, a lateral pipeline was added traveling to Houston, Texas.