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Keystone pipeline: Was environmental backlash over the top?

The proposed creation of a pipeline - the Keystone XL - to carry oil from Canada into America has become a rallying point for US environmentalists. They argue it will damage wildlife and prolong America's dependence on fossil fuels. But a State Department draft report released Friday stated: "there would be no significant impacts to most resources along the proposed project route." Here's a selection of the American media's response.

A Washington Post editorial argues as follows: "The [State Dept.] analysis underscores the extent to which activists have trumped up a relatively mundane infrastructure issue into the premier environmental fight of this decade, leading to big marches and acts of civil disobedience to advance a cause that is worthy of neither. The activists ought to pick more important fights. Until they do, the president should ignore their pressure."

Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, an environmental group, slammed the administration's "deeply flawed analysis and what can only be interpreted as lip service to one of the greatest threats to our children's future: climate disruption".

No decision has been made yet - and President Obama won't give one until late spring or summer. But the signs suggest Keystone will be more than just a nightmare for Greens in the not too distant future.

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