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President Barack Obama has announced that he will shortly decide whether to approve the proposed Keystone XL pipeline extension from Alberta, Canada to Steele City, Neb. Keystone's sponsor, TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, with support from the Canadian government, contends that the Keystone extension would, together with domestic shale gas, help the United States achieve energy independence from unreliable or unsavory OPEC and other petroleum exporting nations. The project's opponents, including much of the U.S. environmental community, are asking the president (or, more accurately, the secretary of state) to disapprove the project because of its adverse climate change impacts and localized environmental risks.

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