In both cases, the U.S. President is reversing action based on the voices of the American people.
Both pipelines have been a major source of contention for the outdoor industry and citizens of the United States.
The Dakota Access Pipeline has been in the news for most of 2016 as protesters attempted to block its construction. The proposed route for the pipeline would pass upstream of the Standing Rock Reservation, tampering with the Standing Rock water source and creating a dangerous situation for future spills. In the final hour before the construction permit expired, the US Army Corps of Engineers declared they would not grant building permission and the Pipeline would need to seek an alternate route.
The Keystone XL Pipeline seeks to add a route to the Keystone Pipeline that would run over the mixed-grass prairie Sandhills of North Dakota. It was denied a permit because it would not improve the US energy sector significantly, and if anything its dirty fuel would undermine out efforts against climate change.
What is unclear is how far the executive orders will go toward making the pipelines a reality. If the U.S. President is trying to create more jobs, pipelines generate only a short term surge in jobs for what is largely an unmanned operation once running. If the goal is keeping energy in the US, there are clean solutions that would position the U.S. as a leader in renewables.
In both the case of the Dakota Access Pipeline and the Keystone XL Pipeline, the U.S. President is reversing action based on the explicit voices of the American people.