The Obama administration just announced that the Keystone XL tar-sands pipeline will be delayed as it studies a potential new route for the project, one that does not take it across a critical groundwater aquifer that supplies water to more than 1 million people.

This delay, projected to be 12 to 18 months, might very well kill the project, says Russ Girling, CEO of TransCanada, the company building Keystone XL.

"How long will those customers wait for Canadian crude oil to get to the marketplace before they sort of throw up their hands and say this is just never going to happen?" he asked.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.