Environmental contention stirs as discussions cultivate over the long-delayed 1,700-mile Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport Canadian crude oil from the Athabasca Oil Sands in northeastern Alberta, Canada, to southern parts of the United States. Due to environmental concerns, lawsuits from oil refineries, and opposition in the U.S. Congress, the project has been on hiatus, as it lingers in the State Department’s permitting process, awaiting President Obama’s approval. In urging the President to act, Republicans and business leaders allege that the $7 billion expansion will create 20,000 jobs — 13,000 construction jobs and 7,000 manufacturing jobs — and ease U.S. dependence on foreign oil. TransCanada, the Canadian company that proposed the expansion, estimates that the pipeline would deliver over one million barrels of oil a day to the U.S. "We could help reduce the amount of imports from the Middle East," asserted TransCanada spokesman Terry Cunha, "which would ensure energy security for the United States."
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