Environmentalists have opposed the project, saying it will contribute to greenhouse-gas emissions and endanger drinking water supplies in Nebraska. They have staged demonstrations outside the White House and vowed to withhold financial support to Obama’s presidential campaign if he approves the pipeline.
“The entire purpose of the pipeline is to move Canadian oil to the crude refineries in the Gulf so that it can be shipped overseas,” Jeremy Symons, a National Wildlife Federation vice president, said today in a phone interview. “If the pipeline is built, Canada gets the jobs, China gets the oil and American families get the oil spills.”
Protests in Nebraska and at the White House have focused on the risks of a spill tainting the Ogallala aquifer in Nebraska’s Sand Hills region. TransCanada has discussed alternate routes with state officials that would pose less risk to drinking-water supplies.