Ringing the White House with Environmental Activists It Turns Out Is a Good Way to Get the President …


…to dither over the decision to permit the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada's oilsands to Texas' refineries.

Scared the president didn't it?

As Reuters reports:

The United States will study a new route for the Keystone XL Canada-to-Texas oil pipeline, U.S. officials said on Thursday, delaying any final approval beyond the 2012 election and sparing President Barack Obama a politically risky decision for now.

The delay was a victory for environmentalists who say oil sands crude development emits large amounts of greenhouse gases. It would deal a blow to companies developing Alberta's oil sands and to TransCanada Corp, which planned to build and operate the conduit.

Analysts have said a long delay could kill the $7 billion project because it would cause shippers and refiners to look for alternative routes to get Canadian oil sands crude.

It was not immediately clear what effect the decision—which sources briefed on the matter said would delay any final approval for the $7 billion project by at least a year—would have on U.S.-Canada relations.

The Keystone XL project is seen as the most important North American oil pipeline plan for several decades and was strongly championed by Canadian officials.

One source familiar with the matter said that studying a new route for the pipeline would likely take 12-18 months, putting a final decision after President Barack Obama's bid for reelection on November 6, 2012.

Obama 2012 campaign slogan: Let's not change anything in the hope of being re-elected. See my column where I explain that the president doesn't need to be afraid of the Keystone XL pipeline, except for reasons of politics.