New construction on the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline has been halted, but a temporary extension of work is in place to allow construction to begin on a new route to carry oil to refineries in Texas and Canada.
Keystone XL, which will carry more than 1.8 million barrels of oil a day from Alberta to refiners in Texas, has faced criticism from environmentalists and the Obama administration for its potential to increase carbon emissions and worsen the environment.
The pipeline is already causing major disruptions in the United States and around the world.
A section of the pipeline was damaged in a crash in May, spilling crude into the Gulf of Mexico, prompting a temporary halt in construction.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US Army Corps of Engineers have now decided to stop construction on that section of Keystone XL in its entirety, while the Army Corps continues to review whether the project will move forward.
Keyboardist for the oil industry and former senator Joe Lieberman has called on President Barack Obama to delay the project.
He said: “President Obama has to give the American people a reason for him to keep going forward with the Keystone XL pipeline.
It’s an important project that will add tens of thousands of jobs to our economy, and it is a project that the President and his administration have spent years and years trying to make happen.”
Keystone pipeline construction is due to resume in January.