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Keystone XL Pipeline Increasing in Popularity


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Photo credit: shannonpatrick17 / Flickr

The fight may be over for those that oppose the building of the Keystone XL Pipeline. Originally, environmentalists were first among those that fought hardest against TransCanada bringing the pipeline to the US. The proposal of the Keystone XL Pipeline set off a firestorm of debate in the US, with people on both sides of the pipeline arguing passionately.

Those that oppose the building of the pipeline quote the negative impacts it would have on the environment, the livestock and the people that live closest to it. Those that are in favor of it list the jobs it would create, the safety record of TransCanada, the company that wants to build it, and a reduction of US dependency on foreign oil.

The irony is that, according to the State Department’s SEIS report, there will be no major impact on the environment if the pipeline is built. To take it one step further, there are those of the opinion, such as William Pentland, a contributor for Forbes, that think rejecting the pipeline will actually hurt the environment.

Urgings to End Procrastination

Currently, according to the Washington Post, the permit for the building of the pipeline is still being delayed by the president, so all arguments are mute. Bloomberg reports of the impatience that Lee Terry (R-NE), and as many as 43 of his fellow representatives seem to feel on the subject, as Terry points out that the report allows no excuse for President Obama to not to grant the permit.

Terry Lee is joined in urging Obama to grant the permit by Jack Gerard, the President of the American Petroleum Institute. He has stated that the president has no other alternative but to grant the permit because the pipeline is in America’s best interest. Regardless of the urging, the State Department again announced it would delay its decision on the pipeline, as reported by the Washington Post.

The Turn of the Tide

For a time, it seemed that those opposed would win, but according to the latest polls, Americans that are now in favor of the pipeline being built seem to be taking a small lead. As many as 65% of the 1,002 Americans are now in favor of the pipeline being built, according to a March poll released by ABCNews.

This percentage is up from the 2012 poll, in which 59 % were in favor of the pipeline. According to the same report by ABCNews, the main motivation for the new increase in supporters may have a lot to do with the economical benefits, such as jobs, that the pipeline would create. With no major environmental impacts to be heralded, and the approval of 65% of the American public, it would seem that TransCanada may finally win a battle that was started with a permit awaiting approval.

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