Our Views: Clock ticking on pipeline

Perhaps the Obama administration and America’s environmental community should take note, and take action, in light of a Canadian decision to approve a pipeline that would link oil sands to the Pacific coast.

As in, taking the oil to China on tankers. Instead of sending the oil to American refineries via the stalled Keystone XL pipeline.

Some major environmental groups object to the exploitation of the “heavy” oil in the Albertan oil sands, feeling it would be harmful, but the fact is that the oil will be exploited by somebody.

In the United States, after all, tougher environmental standards will govern the transportation, refining and use of the oil and its products. Can the same be said of mainland China?

Just ask the choking citizens of Beijing, Harbin or other cities.

A pipeline, as we are all too familiar in Louisiana, is a complicated undertaking. The interests of landowners and environmental concerns must be taken into account. But the Pacific pipeline is probably going to survive the assessments.

Even if it did not, there is at least one proposal to expand an existing pipeline through British Columbia.

The lesson here is simple enough: We can delay and delay and delay, but the United States has an interest in working with its friend and ally on energy production.

And if we delay too long, we cannot blame our cousins in Canada for taking up other options for their oil.