Critics of a proposed Trans-Canada oil pipeline from Canada to Texas are feeling a sense of relief, over the U.S. State Department's decision to stop the project until after the 2012 election.

At the same time, another big Canadian pipeline company says it can bring crude oil to Texas much faster and at less expense.

After weeks of public protests by environmentalists and others, the State Department has decided the proposed pipeline could create insurmountable public health and environmental problems in that area of Nebraska where it would cross the Ogallala Aquifer, which provides water for much of the midwest.

Trans-Canada pipeline has been ordered to explore new routes for the pipeline, a process that will surely delay a final decision on it until 2013 at the earliest.

If it is ever completed, this pipeline would bring crude oil from Alberta Canada to refineries on the Texas coast.  Part of the pipeline's route, 27.3 miles of it, crosses the western part of Angelina County.

Supporters say the pipeline would bring thousands of jobs to Texas, but it has strong opposition from those say it's a threat to the environment. Lufkin attorney Luan Tatum says it is a potential environmental nightmare.

This development in the Keystone XL story is overshadowing another development involving another big Canadian pipeline company.

Enbridge Inc. says it already has the commitments it needs from Canadian producers and U.S. refiners to create an alternative to TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline.

via Fuel Fix » TransCanada rival Enbridge pursuing Keystone XL alternative.

So the Obama administration has delayed the Keystone XL project until after the 2012 election. How convenient.  This decision takes away a potential presidential campaign issue.