The question of whether and when to build the country-spanning Keystone XL pipeline is turning into an explosive election issue just one month after the Obama administration thought it had diffused it.
Republicans are pressing for a quick decision on the pipeline that would be used to transport oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast, The Washington Post
The State Department announced in November it would need to conduct more environmental studies to address concerns about moving the route away from Nebraska’s Sand Hills region, the state’s primary aquifer. The move pushed any decision on the matter until 2013, months after the 2012 elections.
However, Nebraska Republicans who had opposed the route are now calling for a quick decision.
“I certainly support expediting everything we’re doing with the Keystone XL project,” Republican Gov. Dave Heineman said, according to the Post.
The Nebraskans are in tune with House GOP members and Republican presidential contenders who are pushing the administration to give the green light to the 1,700-mile pipeline they say will create thousands of jobs and a secure energy supply, the Post reported. Environmentalists oppose the project.
Energy Policy Research Foundation President Lou Pugliaresi told the Post that the Keystone decision could make a big difference in Ohio, where crude oil production is rising. Pugliaresi said, “When you think that Obama did this for political reasons, he could end up with surging production out of Ohio. And then there would be an interesting discussion: Who do you want to turn to? The guys who shut down the Keystone or their opponent?”
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