An executive at the world’s largest oil company told Reuters last month that the Trump White House has no interest in reestablishing the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, and that it’s “time to move on.”
The comments by ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson came during a meeting with the White House’s National Economic Council on Thursday, when he was asked about the possibility of reopening the controversial pipeline.
Tillerson, who has been critical of President Donald Trump during his tenure, told the White Hill Council on Energy and Natural Resources that he thinks “it’s time to move forward and let it sit there” and that he has no intention of reestablish the pipeline.
Tillerson told the council that he believes “the president and the administration have the ability to do it in a very short period of time.”
The Trump administration recently withdrew from the Paris climate agreement, a move that Tillerson called a “major mistake” that cost U.S. workers thousands of jobs and threatened to cause “catastrophic” economic losses.
On Monday, Tillerson told reporters that “the decision to withdraw from the climate accord is a major mistake.”
The president, Tillerson said, “has the ability” to “move forward on Keystone.”
Environmentalists, meanwhile, have been critical that the Keystone XL is not going to be rerouted because it could potentially lead to the release of methane, a potent greenhouse gas.
Methane is more potent than CO2, according to the U.N. Environmental Program.
Oil industry officials have said that the pipeline is “essential to our future,” and the National Association of Petroleum Exporting Countries said the pipeline would “significantly enhance the U,S.
ability to market and export oil and gas across the North American continent.”
TransCanada has also said it will move the Keystone to Mexico to ease traffic congestion.
The White House declined to comment on Tillerson’s remarks.