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To many, the ultimate approval of the Keystone XL pipeline project is inevitable. Environmentalists and oil and gas advocates have long been engaged in a heated debate that has narrowed its focus to TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline.

Here are a few of President Obama’s options: a) approve the pipeline and offer an energy-efficient tax incentive or alternative energy goal proposal for the future; b) approve the pipeline and disregard the cries of environmentalists; c) strike the pipeline and disregard upset oil and gas investors that are likely to pursue the pipeline’s construction anyways; d) strike the pipeline and offer some kind of proposal to alleviate what to advocates of traditional energy forms would seem like an utter crisis; e) indefinitely postpone the decision entirely. The problem with creating an additional proposal to his decision to strike or approve the pipeline is that it would require approval from Congress, which we all know has been facing much difficulty seeing eye to eye. Regardless of the path President Obama chooses, someone is bound to be upset; such is the nature of dramatic once-in-a-term decisions like this. Because of the opportunity’s rarity, the decision to keep or remove the contentious pipeline will leave a lasting impact on how the Obama legacy will be perceived. What is left undeciphered now is through which lens the President’s term will be remembered – will he be envisioned as the environmental advocate or the oil and gas subjugate?

To read about additional possible outcomes of this contentious debate, please click here.