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USA - End of an era? Series of US setbacks bodes ill for big oil, gas pipeline projects

The oil industry says the pipelines are needed to expand oil and gas production and deliver it to fuel-hungry markets, but a rising chorus of critics argue they pose an unacceptable future risk to climate, air and water.

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK: A rapid-fire succession of setbacks for big energy pipelines in the United States this week has revealed an uncomfortable truth for the oil and gas industry: environmental activists and landowners opposed to projects have become good at blocking them in court.

The latest setbacks have increased the difficulty for developers of billions of dollars worth of pipeline projects in getting needed permits and community support. The oil industry says the pipelines are needed to expand oil and gas production and deliver it to fuel-hungry markets, but a rising chorus of critics argue they pose an unacceptable future risk to climate, air and water.

"Any company that is going to look to invest that kind of money into our infrastructure is really going to have to take a hard look," said Craig Stevens, spokesman for Grow America's Infrastructure Now, a coalition comprised mainly of chambers of commerce and energy associations.

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