Post image for Keystone XL Pipeline: What Is the President Thinking?

Last night over dinner with a knowledgeable source, I heard the skinny on the $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline extension that would double U.S. imports of tar sands oil from western Canada…if the Obama administration allows it.

The 1,700 mile pipeline would link expanding Canadian crude production with America’s first-class refining hub in the Midwest and along the Gulf. It was one of three diplomatic priorities articulated by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper during his February sit-down with President Barack Obama (the other two were Afghanistan and trade policy). That’s why the State Department is behind it.

However, oil production from tar sands is more carbon-intensive than traditional production, so environmentalist groups are staunchly opposed to the Keystone XL pipeline. As a result of the greens’ organized opposition, the Environmental Protection Agency in July, 2010, rebuked the State Department’s draft Environmental Impact Assessment* of the pipeline, stating that it contained “inadequate information.”

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