Obama Administration Pushes Keystone Pipeline Decision Until After the Election

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Setting aside a contentious political issue until after the 2012 election, the Obama Administration is postponing a decision on whether to allow an oil pipeline to run from Canada to the Gulf Coast. The Keystone XL pipeline would carry oil from the tar sands of Alberta, and it's become a hot button issue on both the left and right. Environmentalists have warned of its potential to aggravate climate change while conservatives have suggested it will help create jobs in the energy sector. Thus The Wall Street Journal's Deborah Soloman calls today's decision "a temporary win for environmental groups," and one that is "likely to anger the oil and gas industry." (For a nice summary of the issues surrounding the pipeline, see Jordan Weissmann's analysis over at The Atlantic.) Specifically, the State Department will announce its intention to reroute the pipeline away from Nebraska, the Journal reports. It's proximity to a water source there has made resistance in that state particularly strong. But a new route will require more study of its environmental impact, which Solomon says will likely take until at least 2013. That's sure to at least temporarily please the protesters who surrounded the White House this weekend to protest the pipeline.

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