Symbols & fundamentals

Focus has returned to the Keystone XL pipeline, approval of which Republicans in the US House of Representatives hopelessly have made a condition of support for federal transportation spending. It's an important issue. The pipeline should be approved. But the issue is symbolic. In a crucial election year, the oil and gas industry should keep in sight a more fundamental debate that makes Keystone XL just one among many proxies. The pipeline, which would extend transportation capacity for blended bitumen and synthetic crude oil from Alberta to the Texas Gulf Coast, is under an unnecessarily extended review. The administration of President Barack Obama doesn't want to approve the project bec...

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