The Canadian company that wants to build the first pipeline to move tar sands oil from Alberta to the U.S. Gulf Coast has launched a third attempt to obtain American permission for cross-border construction.
TransCanada Corp. announced Thursday that it had filed the permit application with the U.S. Department of State.
The current leader of the American government’s executive branch, real estate developer and reality television star Donald J. Trump, expressly invited the re-application earlier this week after years of deliberation led to two rejections of the pipeline project by former President Barack Obama’s administration.
Trump issued an executive memorandum on Jan. 24 that imposes a 60-day deadline for the State Department to decide whether to grant the permit application.
As of Friday the State Department lacks any senior leadership. Former Exxon-Mobil chief executive officer Rex Tillerson, nominated by Trump to succeed former secretary of state John F. Kerry, is awaiting a confirmation vote in the U.S. Senate.
Meanwhile, the staff of senior diplomats and foreign service officers who lead the department’s 13 divisions has been gutted. The regime demanded, and received, the resignations of at least seven senior department officials this week.
Replacements for most of those senior staff members will have to be nominated by Trump and then confirmed by the Senate, a process not likely to be completed by the time the deadline Trump imposed for considering TransCanada’s application is reached.