Long a bone of contention between political parties in the United States, the $7 billion, 1,179-mile Keystone XL Tar Sands Oil Pipeline Project has now taken center stage in the presidential debates. Predictably the Democratic candidates have come about strongly against its construction; the Republican strongly in favor.
Last week, top runner Hillary Clinton said she would not support the Keystone XL project, calling instead for a major overhaul of the decrepit American energy infrastructure: "Our more than 2 million miles of oil and natural gas pipes are in disrepair, resulting in oil spills, chronic methane leaks, and even devastating explosions. I will strengthen national pipeline safety regulations and partner with pipeline operators, local regulators, and technology providers in repairing and replacing thousands of miles of the country’s oldest pipes."
Bernie Sanders, Democratic presidential aspirant who is gaining in the polls vis-a-vis Hillary, said passing Keystone XL means "a significantly less habitable planet" and therefore he would not support it.
Number 1 Republican contender Donald Trump, on the other hand, said "If I am elected President I will immediately approve the Keystone XL pipeline. No impact on environment and lots of jobs for U.S.". This sentiment is echoed by every other Republican candidate for the presidency.
While the Obama administration is expected to soon render a final decision on the pipeline, it says it is currently still reviewing whether to go forward or not. Most political pundits believe President Obama will veto the project.