"The executive branch of the U.S. federal government has mandated for decades that developers of border crossing energy facilities must first obtain a Presidential Permit. Until recently, this administrative oversight was undertaken with little fanfare. However, controversy over the proposed Keystone XL (eXport Limited) oil pipeline--a project that would transport oil sands crude from Alberta, Canada, into the United States--has focused attention on federal permitting of energy infrastructure border crossings. Generally, the construction, operation, and maintenance of facilities that cross the U.S.-Mexico or U.S.-Canada border must be authorized by the federal government through the issuance of a Presidential Permit in accordance with requirements set forth in a series of executive orders. This report discusses these executive orders, including the source of the executive branch authority to issue the orders, the standards set forth in the orders, and the projects approved pursuant to the orders. The report also discusses proposed changes to the Presidential Permitting framework in the Promoting Cross-Border Energy Infrastructure Act (H.R. 2883), which passed in the House on July 19, 2017."
CRS Report for Congress, R43261
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html