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The Obama administration is exploring an alternate route for TransCanada’s $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline that would transport oil from Canada to Texas, according to an exclusive report from Reuters. Studies into developing an alternate route could take 12 – 18 months and would push the final decision beyond the 2012 election.
The project has been extremely controversial for two big reasons. With unemployment at 9% the pipeline could create much-needed high-paying jobs. Moreover, it would provide cash-strapped governments with tax revenues.
On the other hand after the BP Deepwater spill of 2010 and ExxonMobil’s July 2011 pipeline spill, environmentalists are pressuring the Obama administration to nip the project in the bud.
Ahead of the 2012 election Obama is hoping to keep the support of liberals and environmentalists, while staving off another Republican attack on his handling of the economic recovery.