Pipeline could “spill” trouble


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Academy-Award-nominated actor Mark Ruffalo and Nobel laureate Jody Williams were among the notable names that joined thousands of others at the White House on Sunday to protest the Keystone XL pipeline, a crude oil pipeline based in Canada that is expected to supply oil to certain areas in the United States, the Winnipeg Free Press reported.

According to the Free Press report, Ruffalo addressed the crowd before they began their march in Washington, which encompassed several downtown blocks, passing the U.S. Treasury building and ending at the White House.

"I'm here to get a message to President Obama to stop the tarsands Keystone XL pipeline," Ruffalo told the Canadian press before he took to the stage in a park across Pennsylvania Avenue, according to the Free Press. "I voted for him because he promised us change and he promised us we were going to be the generation to end tyranny, and now is his chance to come through."

Meanwhile, TransCanada, the corporation behind the proposed pipeline — which consists of a 1,700-mile crude oil pipeline and related facilities that would mainly be used to move Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin crude oil from an oil supply hub in Alberta, Canada, will have delivery points in Oklahoma and Texas, according to the U.S. State Department —stands behind the project as a means to increase energy security and build jobs in the United States.
"The Keystone XL project is a privately funded $7 billion dollar undertaking that will directly create thousands of construction and manufacturing jobs and indirectly stimulate additional private sector investment and job creation," said Russ Girling, TransCanada's president and CEO, in a statement issued last month. "Thousands of those working men and women spoke out in support of the project, one in particular captured what this pipeline means to them — 'This pipeline is not just a pipeline — to me, it's a lifeline.'"

While protestors seek a swift “no” on the pipeline from Obama, the President will have to wait on taking any action following a request by the State Department’s inspector general to review allegations of bias and conflicts of interest surrounding the project, Politico.com reported. According to Politico, Deputy IG Harold Geisel said in a memo sent last week to Deputy Secretary of State William Burns that he would conduct a special review “to determine to what extent [the department] and all other parties involved complied with federal laws and regulations relating to the Keystone XL pipeline permit process,” according to the memo, which was obtained by Politico.

The review, which was requested by 15 congressional Democrats, according to Politico, means any action on the pipeline will not be happening anytime soon.

Editor's note: According to a New York Times article published Nov. 10, the Obama administration will most likely delay its decision until 2012 as it examines an alternate route for the pipeline.


Learn more about the Keystone Pipeline here.

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