TransCanada may soon begin construction on Keystone XL pipeline

TransCanada says construction can begin in months after US President Barack Obama signed a bill forcing a faster decision on the Keystone XL pipeline, but opponents say Obama has simply signed its death warrant.

According to operator TransCanada, construction may now begin in months on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, after US President Barack Obama signed a bill requiring a decision on the controversial project within 60 days.

The bill allows construction to begin in five of the six states along the route, with an on ongoing review over ecologically sensitive areas postponing work in Nebraska.

While this may seem like a disappointing result from the opposition's standpoint, environmental groups against the pipeline say it comes as "an unexpected holiday gift".

"It is clear that Republicans and Big Oil hoped to rush approval of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline after the administration decided on an additional year of review, including determination of a new route that would avoid the fragile Nebraska Sandhills,'' said Susan Casey-Lefkowitz, with the Natural Resources Defense Council, one of the most vocal opponents of Keystone XL.

"But this attempt is going to backfire as the fast-tracking attempt leaves the president no choice but to say that based on available information, the project is not in the national interest and to reject the Keystone XL pipeline.''

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