November 2nd, 2011
10:23 AM ET
(CNN) - President Obama is implying he may personally weigh in on whether to allow construction of a 1,700 mile oil pipeline which is at the center of a bitter environmental battle.
The Keystone XL pipeline, which would stretch from Alberta, Canada, through Texas, pits the promise of jobs and an economic shot in the arm against opponents who say it threatens to poison groundwater resources across the Heartland. Pipeline operator TransCanada insists it will include safeguards to protect people and property.
During an interview Tuesday with CNN's Omaha, Nebraska, affiliate KETV, Obama implied for the first time that he would personally contribute to the decision whether to green-light the project.
"Folks in Nebraska, like folks all across the country, aren't going to say to themselves, 'We're going to take a few thousand jobs if it means our kids are potentially drinking water that would damage their health," Obama told KETV."When somebody gets sick, that's a cost that society has to bear as well. So these are all things that you have to take a look at when you make these decisions."