Should President Obama green-light a controversial pipeline that would send a half-million barrels of Canadian oil to the United States?
With high oil and gasoline prices, Congress and the administration have focused their attention more on increasing supplies of oil, both within the U.S. and from countries like Canada and Brazil. The International Energy Agency said last week that more oil production was needed to stave off an economic decline. This project would augment what is already America's top foreign supplier. But it would ship Canada's oil sands, which environmentalists argue causes more greenhouse gas emissions than conventional oil.
Since the project crosses international borders, it requires approval from the State Department. The department recently said it expects to issue a final decision by the end of the year. It has extended the environmental review of the project in response to concerns from environmentalists
What factors should the administration consider when evaluating this project? Should Congress pass any legislation to expedite the process? How have the political, policy, and economic conditions changed since we last asked this question in August?