Heading into an election season, President Barack Obama is looking at some tough choices regarding the Keystone pipeline that TransCanada Corp. wants to construct from Alberta to Texas.
The $13 billion Keystone pipeline system will link a secure and growing supply of Canadian crude oil with the largest refining markets in the United States, and experts say it will significantly improve North American security supply. The 1,661-mile, 36-inch diameter proposed pipeline has angered environmentalists, a key portion of the Obama electorate.
The Obama Administration is facing criticism from two sections of its base as the decision looms. Union supporters say that the pipeline project will be a definite job creator during a time at which increasing the number of jobs is a key issue for all elected officials. Environmentalists, however, say that the practices involved in building the pipeline and extracting the oil will impact global warming.
A protest against the pipeline took place at the White House on Sunday, with environmental activists forming a human chain around the Presidential home, according to the Los Angeles Times. The activists have promised to cut Obama campaign contributions if he allows the project to begin.
The most recent reports indicate that the President’s State Department may try to postpone the decision until after elections, an idea that TransCanada dislikes.