WASHINGTON, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- A few days after the State Department released it's report on the Keystone XL -- determining the oil sands pipeline would have minimal effects on greenhouse gas emissions -- politicians, policy makers, and other opinion-makers continue to trade barbs over the project's pros and cons.
The State Department conclusion and the growing bipartisan support for the pipeline puts President Obama in a tricky situation, especially as he continues to voice his intent to combat climate change.
Earlier today, the president's administration detailed plans for seven new "climate hubs," centers aimed at helping Americans deal with the problems of climate change.
An especially animated John Boehner told reporters this week that it was time to move forward with the project. “We need jobs, and we want energy security and the Keystone pipeline is critical to both of them,” Boehner, R-Ohio, said. “I recognize the president has friends that are opposed to this, but if we’re going to operate our government on sound science, it’s time for the president to act.”
A number of polls suggest that more than 60 percent of Americans support the project, as well as more than half of all Democrats. But the White House has said the president is unlikely to weigh in until the EPA and other agencies respond to the State Department report.
But if the president doesn't make a decision soon, it is likely a group of senators will put legislation in motion that would set a timeline for an answer from the White House.
Meanwhile, environmentalists remain highly critical of the plan.
“It is very likely that there will be negative consequences for Democrats if Keystone were approved,” Kate Colarulli, associate director of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Oil campaign, told The Hill. “This is a tremendous opportunity to protect the climate and build the Democratic base if Obama rejects Keystone XL.”
[ ABC News] [ The Hill]