API Turns Up the Heat

The American Petroleum Institute (API) has just released another television ad, putting pressure on President Obama and the White House to make a decision, and soon, in the Keystone XL Pipeline debate.

The new 30-second ad debuts this week in six Midwestern states and the District of Columbia and reminds Obama of his promise that "I will do whatever it takes to put this economy back on track."

"Now is his chance," the ad's narrator says. "The Keystone XL pipeline is ready to be built, bringing energy from Canada to power our country safely and responsibly, and employing thousands immediately."

The deadline Obama is currently working towards is Feb. 21st, by which he must decide whether to accept or reject the pipeline's progress.

Whatever the decision, it's clear that at least one of Obama's camp of supporters will walk away miffed: environmentalists and Democratic fundraisers who oppose Keystone XL over pollution concerns, or some labor groups that back it for economic reasons.

And a coalition of groups, including the API, has sent a letter to President Obama, urging him to act "swiftly" to approve the pipeline: "The significant job creation, economic growth, energy security and national security benefits of this project make clear it is in the national interest."

Complicating the debate further are reports TransCanada could look to Asian markets if its Keystone XL ambitions are thwarted. Robert Jones, TransCanada Corp.'s vice president for Keystone pipelines, told the Associated Press the company prefers to keep its oil in North America but would look to countries like China if the U.S. border "is shut."