Trump approves $22 billion resource railway between Alaska and Alberta

US President Donald Trump has approved a massive rail link between Alaska and Alberta that will help oil and other resources get to the Pacific Ocean.

On Saturday, Trump announced via Twitter that he is using his executive powers to approve the A2A Cross-Border Rail.

When completed, the A2A rail project will stretch 2,570 kilometres from Delta Junction in central Alaska to Fort McMurray, Alberta. According to A2A, the project will create 18,000 jobs in Canada throughout its lifetime.

When completed, Canadian oil, potash and ore will be able to be transported to the Pacific Ocean through Alaska. 

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney’s office told CBC they are pleased to see the cross-border project get American backing.

“The Government of Alberta is glad to see the approval of the A2A rail project in the United States,” said spokeswoman Christine Myatt.

“We support the development of trade corridors that can unlock new markets for Alberta’s products.”

In order to get approval, A2A will have to go through an environmental impact assessment. The project will also need the approval of the provinces and territories it will travel through.

A2A President J.P. Gladu says that U.S. approval means that a major regulatory hurdle has been passed. 

“You need certain lines of support from governments – federal, provincial, territorial and even Indigenous governments – and this is one of those great moments for A2A with regards to support in signalling this project is indeed a real project.”

While other proposed projects to transport oil have faced significant opposition from some jurisdictions and activists, Gladu hopes that A2A’s route may prove less controversial.

A2A says it is already consulting with communities along the proposed path, with the company considering giving Indigenous communities a stake in the project.

Gladu hopes that the possibility for transport of commercial goods and passengers will entice communities and indigenous groups to sign onto the project.

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