The Keystone Pipeline has been one of the most riveting games of political football we've seen in a while. And, while the game is still afoot, the clock is running out on this long, drawn-out game.
The Canadian energy and infrastructure company, TransCanada, filed an application with the U.S. Department of State to build the Keystone XL pipeline, an expansion of the existing Keystone pipeline, on September 19, 2008. But because the pipeline crosses a national border, it requires federal approval in the form of a Presidential Permit. President Obama has not granted the permit. Nor has he said when he will make a final decision.
President Obama has stated he is waiting on the outcome of the court case in Nebraska, where the constitutionality of the pipeline is being fiercely challenged. Some charge Obama with delaying the "game" intentionally, downing the ball and buying some more time. Whether that's what he is doing or not, he does represent a huge hurdle, an obstacle to supporters of the pipeline, one last defense against Keystone Pipeline, lending hope to environmentalists and left-wingers everywhere.
This really comes down to a play by President Obama...he could fumble the ball and make us all face palm. Or, he could make a fantastic play and spike the ball and do a little dance. Truly, anything could happen.
What we do know is that the Keystone Pipeline is in direct opposition to President Obama's environmental pledge and the argument that the pipeline will create jobs -- though valid -- seems weak in comparison, especially since the quoted number of jobs it would create have fallen on both ends of the spectrum (some say hand fulls, others say thousands). However, those pushing for the pipeline are definitely tenacious and seem to have a referee or two in their pocket.
This is not a game anyone wants to lose, and it is heated nail biter and one that promises to, at the very least, change the world. Is that too far reaching? Perhaps. But then again, who knows what lasting consequences, repercussions or even backlash will result from the "to build or not to build" decision.
What we can count on, is that a decision will be made. But will it be the right one? This is the dilemma. Will it be the one that lifts our society to another level, that challenges us to be innovative and think out-side-the-box in terms of energy and resources, or will it be a decision that contributes to the continued destruction of our environment. to the pollution of our climate and to global warming as a whole. Simply put: is the pipeline going to have a negative effect or a positive effect? And what are the sacrifices and are they worth it?
This, surely, is being weighed by Obama, and all we can do now is sit back, wait through the palpable tension, and hope that the right play will be made.