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Topics in Public Policy: Keystone XL Pipeline

The Issue

The Keystone XL Pipeline is a proposed oil infrastructure project that would see a pipeline built to run from Canada, through several U.S. states. The pipeline would transport Canadian tar sands, a material criticized by environmentalists as being a particularly dirty form of oil, from Canada down through the U.S. to Gulf Coast refineries, where the sands would be processed.

The State of the Debate

Long bogged down in political debate between those with environmental concerns and others who would welcome the project as a job-producer, the pipeline has recently re-emerged into the news. With the threat of rejection by the President looming and oil prices dipping, the company responsible for the project has requested that consideration of the proposal be paused for the time being. The Obama administration has indicated it will continue its deliberations however, signaling that a decision will likely come before the end of Obama's presidency.

Researching the Pipeline

To gain a more comprehensive grasp of this topic, and the long political debate that it has inspired, there are a variety of government documents, reports, and articles you may be interested in reviewing. In particular, the government website for the project includes a vast array of reports and information about the project. You will also find congressional documents via ProQuest Congressional and the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications. For a broader look at the arguments on both sides of the political debate over the pipeline, check out the Points of View Reference Center and/or the Opposing Viewpoints database.

Blog created by: Rebekah Jarvis-Girtler
Image credit: chesapeakclimate

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