Obama delays Keystone XL

Administration puts the brakes on pipeline plans

The Obama administration—apparently in reaction to widespread public protest—has put the brakes on TransCanada’s controversial Keystone XL pipeline.

Plans to construct the 1,700-mile pipeline, which would transport tar-sands oil from Alberta to the Gulf of Mexico, will likely be put on hold for up to 18 months as the government re-evaluates the environmental impact of the current proposed route, according to media sources. Protestors have decried the proposal to run the pipeline over Nebraska’s Ogallala aquifer, a major source of fresh water for millions in the Midwest. Environmentalists are also critical of the energy-intensive process used for extracting tar-sands oil. Supporters maintain the pipeline would provide desperately needed jobs for Americans and decrease reliance on oil from foreign sources.

“Each day the project is delayed will cost TransCanada $1 million,” TransCanada spokesman James Millar told the Huffington Post. “If delays extend beyond the end of 2011, these costs will increase.”