Trump wants to expedite a Texas pipeline project, but no one seems to know what it is

“I’m baffled,” one US government official said last week. “I have no clue,” said another. “I have absolutely no idea what he’s talking about,” one frustrated analyst said after an hour of phone calls. “I’m not sure anybody does.” On October 9, President Donald Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One that he was getting “expedited approval” for a Texas pipeline project. According to a press pool report, Trump gave no additional details. “It’s unclear exactly what project he was referring to,” the report notes. As the week wore on, the Trump administration offered no additional information. Officials with the US State Department, which can issue permits for cross-border liquid pipelines; the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, which regulates interstate pipelines that cross state boundaries; the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which approves the siting of natural gas pipelines; and the Department of Energy all referred questions to the White House. The Railroad Commission of Texas, which regulates the state’s roughly 467,000-mile pipeline infrastructure and permits all new intrastate pipelines, declined to comment. “Any question regarding comments by the President should be directed to the White House or the President’s representatives,” Ramona Nye, a commission spokeswoman, said in a statement.… continue reading

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