There’s no secret that President Barack Obama is focused on environmental issues, especially since he’s close to entering his final presidency year, so the fact that he wants to make a decision regarding the Keystone XL pipeline doesn’t come as a surprise.
According to Reuters, he wants to make a decision regarding this issue by the end of his term. The White House made an official statement on Tuesday, calling a request by the project’s Canadian developer.
A link between U.S. and Canada
The purpose behind the Keystone XL pipeline is to link refineries from the United States with Canada’s Alberta oil fields. TransCanada Corp, the company behind the project asked the Obama administration to delay the review, claiming that the current uncertainty surrounding the project may lead to the rejection of this $8 billion project.
On the other side, the White House, through spokesman Josh Earnest, considered the request unusual, as the process has already taken way too much.
Reuters claims that this request of delaying taking a decision in what concerns the Keystone XL pipeline was interpreted as an attempt to avoid a “no” from President Obama, who wouldn’t agree with a 2000 km cross-border pipeline.
Keystone XL would carry 830,000 barrels of Canadian oil sands crude daily, through Nebraska, reaching refineries and ports situated along the United States Gulf Coast.
Republicans are OK with the pipeline
Like expected, environmentalist groups are already expressing their opposition to this project, alongside Democratic presidential runner-ups, including Hillary Clinton. As for the Republican candidates, they have nothing against it. Not to mention that the project also has supporters in the U.S. Congress from oil-producing states, since it will also transport a small, but important amount of domestic oil.
Earlier this year, President Obama used his veto right against a bill giving Congress members the power to approve this controversial project.