The Keystone XL pipeline is a controversial project set to run from Canada to the Midwestern town of Cushing, Okla., the busiest pipeline junction in the U.S.

The primary controversy surrounding the pipeline stems from the environmental impacts associated with the extraction of oil sands in Alberta. The National Resources Defense Council claims that if the pipeline is approved it will add 1.2 billion metric tons of carbon pollution to the atmosphere during its 50-year lifespan.

Proponents of the pipeline say Keystone XL would reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

According to TransCanada, the company seeking to build the pipeline, the project will also create 20,000 jobs.

The Obama administration is still trying to decide if the pipeline is in America’s national interest.

The decision on the fate of the Keystone XL pipeline will most likely be delayed until after the release of an inspector general investigation into conflict of interest complaints, which could take until early 2014.

Environmental Resources Management (ERM) prepared the most recent environmental impact statement on Keystone but some have complained that ERM did not disclose potential conflicts of interest regarding their previous work with TransCanada. 

IBT Money Reporter David Kashi explains the issue.