keystone xl pipeline route map
For more than four years, the controversial Keystone XL pipeline has been at the center of a heated battle between opponents and supporters.
Those who favor the 1,700-mile extension of the pipeline see it as a step toward North American energy independence and a source of tens of thousands of jobs.
But opponents say the Canadian-U.S pipeline would contribute to global warming and causeirreparable harm to the environment.
On Wednesday, about 50 opponents protested against the Keystone pipeline outside the White House, chanting, "Hey, Obama, we don't want no climate change drama."
The protesters, many of whom were arrested, included actress Daryl Hannah, Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune, renowned climate scientist James E. Hansen and civil rights veteran Julian Bonds.
Underscoring the intensity of environmentalists' opposition to the pipeline, the protest marked the first time the venerable, 120-year-old Sierra Club's board had approved an act of civil disobedience."It's awful hard to reconcile wanting to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with the dirtiest oil project in the country," Brune said. "The president gets this, he understands this challenge, and we're here to ensure his ambitions rise to the level of the challenge."
Will John Kerry Kill the Keystone XL Pipeline?
When new U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met Friday with Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird in Washington, the talk turned to the fate of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline.
Kerry said the controversial $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline project would undergo a "fair and transparent review," adding he expects to make a decision "near-term" on whether to move forward with it. The State Department has final say over the pipeline because it traverses international borders.
According to a department spokeswoman, a decision is likely at the end of March. But Reuters reported an unidentified U.S. official said the decision could be pushed back until June.
Canada is committed to the pipeline, and Baird lobbied hard for it during the meeting with Kerry. After the meeting, Baird called the Keystone XL pipeline a "huge priority."