The Keystone XL pipeline moved one step closer to reality on Friday as U.S. President Donald Trump announced he had approved the “long overdue project.”

“It’s going to be an incredible pipeline. The greatest technology known to man. Or woman,” U.S. President Donald Trump said in the White House on Friday as he read from notes on his desk.

He was flanked by a number of the pipeline's supporters, including Russ Girling, the chief executive of Calgary-based TransCanada which wants to build Keystone XL.

"We're not going to let you down, sir," Girling told the president. "We’re very relieved, and very much just want to get to work."

The 1,900-kilometre pipeline would be able to carry more than 800,000 barrels of oil per day. “That’s some big pipeline,” Trump said.

Environmentalists have said the project would be an environmental and climate change disaster.

In announcing the approval, Trump took a shot at Barack Obama’s decision to block the pipeline, which the former president said would not “serve the national interests” of the U.S. “Other people were not going to be signing this bill. I don’t think it would have ever gotten done,” Trump said on Friday.

Trump also used the opportunity to talk about his election victory in November 2016, saying that he believed voters supported his stance on the pipeline: “They appreciated it … very much at the polls, as you probably noticed, so we’re very happy about it.”

That's some big pipeline, Trump said as he read over notes at his desk in the Oval Office. Video by Riley Sparks

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