Tillerson recuses self from pipeline project

"As promised, I directed the Department of Defense to develop a plan to demolish and destroy ISIS - a network of lawless savages that have slaughtered Muslims and Christians, and men, women, and children of all faiths and beliefs", Mr. Trump said February 28.

But in January, TransCanada resubmitted its application after Mr Trump signed an order smoothing its path.

In a letter sent to the environmental group Greenpeace Thursday, a State Department deputy legal adviser writes that Tillerson made a decision to recuse himself in "early February... from working on issues related to TransCanada's application for a presidential permit for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline".

His department sent a letter Thursday to Greenpeace announcing that he moved last month to recuse himself from any involvement in the Keystone file and had not participated since then.

After the receiving the State department's response noting Tillerson's recusal Thursday, Greenpeace responded with an additional statement.

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The Keystone XL pipeline was designed by TransCanada to bring oil from Canada to the U.S. But because it would cross an worldwide border, the company needs a presidential permit to move forward with the project.

President Donald Trump signed executive orders on Tuesday to advance the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline and the Keystone Pipeline. CB... It could carry 830,000 barrels of oil each day.

McManus' letter came after Greenpeace wrote to officials at the State Department and the Office of Government Ethics on Wednesday, urging Tillerson recuse himself from any decisions on the multibillion-dollar pipeline, given his former role as chief executive officer of Exxon Mobil Corp.

Greenpeace reacted by saying, "Rex Tillerson's recusal from the Keystone Pipeline decision might have never been transparent to the public without people flooding the lines of the Office of Government Ethics today".

But the secretary of state has said he would fully divest from the company by May to comply with federal ethics rules.

  • Alfonso Moody