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Obama pipeline decision may preview energy policy

December 2, 2012 • Business


FILE – This March 22, 2012 file photo shows President Barack Obama arriving at the TransCanada Stillwater Pipe Yard in Cushing, Okla. Embarking on a second term, Obama faces mounting pressure on a decision he had put off during his re-election campaign: whether to approve the $7 billion proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline between the U.S. and Canada. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — It’s a decision President Barack Obama put off during the 2012 campaign, but now that he’s won a second term, his next move on a proposed oil pipeline between the U.S. and Canada may signal how he will deal with climate and energy issues in the four years ahead.

Obama is facing increasing pressure to determine the fate of the $7 billion Keystone XL project, with environmental activists and oil producers each holding out hope that the president, freed from the political constraints of re-election, will side with them on this and countless other related issues down the road.

On its surface, it’s a choice between the promise of jobs and economic growth and environmental concerns. But it’s also become a proxy for a broader fight over American energy consumption and climate change, amplified by Superstorm Sandy and the conclusion of an election that was all about the economy.

“The broader climate movement is absolutely looking at this administration’s Keystone XL decision as a really significant decision to signal that dirty fuels are not acceptable in the U.S.,” said Danielle Droitsch, a senior attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Login to read more

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