Skyrocketing gas prices have caused plenty of frustration in the American people – enough frustration to push U.S. President Barack Obama to go back on his former green decision, a decision to focus primarily on alternative energy sources rather than fossil fuels, by allowing a portion of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline to go on.
Obama recently issued an executive order to fast-track the southern portion of the pipeline, arguing that the move will have a positive effect on gas prices throughout the country. This is the same pipeline for which Obama in January rejected the permit application. At that time, Obama said not enough time was available to assess the project’s effect on the safety and health of Americans as well as the environment by the Congressional Republicans’ established deadline.
Opponents of the 1,700-mile pipeline heavily praised Obama’s decision in January, while proponents of the pipeline – including Republican presidential candidates – argued that the project was necessary to make America less dependent on foreign oil. The TransCanada pipeline was slated to carry oil from Canada’s tar sands in Alberta to oil refineries in Texas.
Obama has given TransCanada the okay to allow a 500-mile portion of the pipeline to begin construction (which also will mean more green jobs here in America for now). The northern portion of the pipeline – which is the most controversial because it would pass through the environmentally sensitive areas of the Sandhills in Nebraska along with the Ogallala Aquifer, which stretches across eight states – will not be approved without further scrupulous review, Obama said.
“Gulf Coast refineries can then access lower cost domestic production and avoid paying a premium to foreign oil producers,” said TransCanada CEO Russ Girling recently of the economic benefits of the pipeline project to the United States. “This would reduce the United States’ dependence on foreign crude and allow Americans to use more of the crude oil produced in their own country.”
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