WASHINGTON – Governor Dave Heineman’s abrupt decision to approve the latest route of the XL pipeline in Nebraska is seen by some as a test for President Barack Obama’s inaugural statement that favored strong action against climate change, by altering the U.S. economy to clean energy.
The TransCanada controversial Keystone XL Pipeline project will meet pipelines to deliver oilsands bitumen from Hardisty AB to the Gulf coast of Texas, at a rate of around 900,000 barrels daily.
People in the United States government see the project as a method of replacing, or reducing reliance on Mideast or Venezuelan oil.
However, critics are saying that it will further entrench the U.S.’s reliance on energy that is carbon-based. Going on the fact that the majority of the oil will be coming from Alberta oilsands, which is viewed as being dirty oil with high emissions, has intensified and broadened the debate.
Pipelines like the Keystone have become “focal points” for those opposing the expanded use of carbon fuels all over the world, in particular, the oilsands.
Professor Warren Mabee of Queen’s University Institute for Energy and Environmental Policy says that pipelines, such as Keystone, have become “focal points” for opposition to the expanded use of carbon fuels globally and the oilsands in particular.
A part of the pipeline was scheduled to go through central Nebraska. Fear that a leak would cause serious environmental damage to the Ogallala aquifer, that is used by farmers and ranchers for water, caused President Obama to suspend the said project in November of 2011, pending further studies.