San Angelo (Texas) Standard-Times: After giving an unabashedly liberal inaugural address, approving a pipeline that environmental groups say will contribute greatly to global warming and possibly taint a major Midwestern aquifer would probably not be among President Barack Obama’s priorities for his second term.
But the president should do so and soon, before the Republicans and the energy industry on one side and the environmentalists on the other can make it a major political issue. And it would remove a major irritant in U.S.-Canadian relations since the Canadians very much want to see it built.
One by one the Obama administration’s objections to the $7 billion project, which would carry 800,000 barrels of crude oil a day from Canada’s tar sands to refineries on the Gulf Coast, have been met.
Nebraska, the state that potentially could be most adversely affected by a spill from the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, has signed off on the project, as have the other five states the line will cross.
Thanks to major finds of natural gas and oil, the United States is virtually energy independent and is actually exporting modest amounts of oil. Given the instability of many of the global energy-producing areas, that independence should not be surrendered lightly.