U.S. State Department Approves Keystone XL Pipeline

Over objections of environmentalists, American Indians, and celebrity activists, the State Department has approved a pipeline that would take oil from the Alberta tar sands to the Gulf of Mexico.

Athabasca Oil Sands Photo Essay

According to the timeline at state.gov, Now begins a 90-day period of review, essentially the last chance the project’s opponents have for something to break their way and derail Keystone XL. The ultimate decision will rest with President Obama. Other agencies may raise objections to the pipeline, which the President can choose to consider or dismiss. “If unanimous agency concurrence is not achieved,” reads the State Department’s timeline, “a final decision is rendered by the President.”

In other words, it’s in Obama’s hands.

“It will be increasingly difficult to mobilize the environmental base and to mobilize in particular young people to volunteer, to knock on thousands of doors, to put in 16-hour days, to donate money if they don’t think the president is showing the courage to stand up to big polluters,” said Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, according to the New York Times.

The State Department is downplaying the significance of its report, though. “This is not the rubber stamp for this project,” said Kerri-Ann Jones, an assistant secretary of state, according to the Wall Street Journal.


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U.S. State Department Approves Keystone XL Pipeline

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