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World News

Trump issues permit for Alaska to Alberta railway

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during the first 2020 presidential campaign debate with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, held on the campus of the Cleveland Clinic at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S., September 29, 2020. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump has issued a presidential permit for a private-sector proposal to build a railway from Canada’s oil sands to ports in Alaska, a project that still faces numerous hurdles.

Trump said over the weekend on Twitter he would issue the permit, which he signed on Monday but was released by the White House late on Tuesday. Projects that cross the U.S. border require presidential permits.

The Alaska-Alberta Railway Development Corporation (A2A Rail) project would move Alberta crude 1,600 miles (2,570 km) to the Alaskan coast, as well as freight in the other direction.

Backers of the $17 billion project hope it will be in service by the end of the decade.

It could carry up to 2 million barrels of oil per day, along with potash, sulphur and grain that often back up at Canada’s Vancouver, British Columbia, port, said Mead Treadwell, A2A’s vice-chair, Alaska.

A2A would require numerous regulatory clearances in the United States and Canada that would likely take years.

Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Mohammad Zargham and Peter Cooney

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