What does the controversial Keystone XL pipeline stand for? And what is at stake when President Obama decides its fate?
The 1,700-mile, tar-sands project has come to symbolize much more than a pipeline. Almost five years after the project's first step into the regulatory process, Washington is still fighting about its fate.
To some, the transcontinental project is an engine for economic growth and its approval would be a sign that Obama is serious about boosting the economy. To others, green-lighting the pipeline means game-over for combating global warming because the project would carry carbon-heavy tar sands.
The State Department is not expected to make the necessary national-interest determination on the pipeline until at least spring of this year. Obama is likely to make the final call on the project, a decision that could slip into the latter half of 2013.
What does the pipeline mean for both the U.S. economy and efforts to curb climate change? How could the decision affect America's relations with Canada, our northern neighbor where the pipeline originates?
What does the battle over this one pipeline mean for future efforts to build energy infrastructure?