President Trump has signed two new executive orders, making it easier for the oil and gas industry to obtain permits for pipeline construction, among other infrastructure needs. The executive orders were announced on Wednesday at the International Union of Operating Engineers’ International Training and Education Center near Houston.
According to ABC News, the two executive orders will benefit American energy companies, making it difficult for states to block projects using the Clean Water Act. Under the Act, states can choose to reject an infrastructure project if they believe it could impact its water.
“My action today will cut through destructing permitting delays and denials,” Trump said in a video at the training center on Wednesday.
ABC reported that the first executive order calls on the Environmental Protection Agency to review how states handle the Clean Water Act, and directs the Department of Transportation to update how liquefied natural gas is transported. The second order transfers decision making on cross-border permits from the Secretary of State to the president.
According to The Hill, the executive order invalidates a previous March 2017 order, which is currently being held up by courts, and replace it with an order for a pipeline with a facility in Montana and South Dakota. Trump’s decision is already being challenged in court. An environmental group has sued the administration, arguing Trump lacked the authority to issue an executive order.