U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu suggested in an interview with energyNOW that the controversial Keystone XL oil-sands pipeline was likely to be approved by the U.S. State Department because of energy security concerns.

The pipeline would transport 500,000 barrels of crude per day from America's neighbor to the north all the way to the Gulf coast of Texas.

“It’s certainly true that having Canada as a supplier for our oil is much more comforting than to have other countries supply our oil,” Chu said.

"You also have to note that companies extracting these tar sands are making great strides in improving the environmental impact of the extraction of this oil and will continue to do so -- and they should be encouraged and pressed to do so... It’s not perfect, but it’s a trade off."

Canadian tar sand is seen as a horribly inefficient form of hydrocarbon energy due to the separation process, which requires more energy than the finished product puts out. Production methods currently also put off 3-5 times more greenhouse emissions than typical oil production.

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