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Thursday, the Obama administration announced that there would not be a decision made regarding the Keystone XL oil pipeline until after the 2012 election. The plan crosses an international border and thus requires the approval of the president.
The $7 billion pipeline would run approximately 2,000 miles long, linking the oil sands of Canada to the refineries in the Houston and Gulf of Mexico region.
Those against the plan say that it “threatens sensitive lands and underground water supplies along its route.” In addition, the intense oil extraction from the Canadian sand formations will contribute to climate change and will further US dependence on fossil fuels.
Supporters say thousands of jobs will be created and it will lessen dependence on “unstable regions like the Middle East.”
The Obama administration is delaying a decision on the pipeline to explore an alternate route, which just so happens to delay the final decision until after the 2012 election.
A Canadian company, TransCanada, proposed the project. According to the New York Times, a spokesperson for the Canadian prime minister expressed disappointment in the delay and that they “remain hopeful the project will be decided on its merits and eventually approved.”
Meanwhile, to the objection of the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. state department has stated that the pipeline would have “limited adverse environmental impacts.” Projects, such as this one, are allowed to hire independent consultants, who are paid large amounts of money to determine possible environmental risks and impacts of the proposed project.
The delay of the decision is until after the 2012 elections, but with the United States’ oil obsession, we’ll see just how soon the decision is made after the election.