As a possible government shutdown looms, environmental activists who oppose construction of the Keystone XL pipeline say they are increasingly alarmed that the project might become a bargaining chip in last-minute negotiations between Republicans and President Obama to avert a fiscal crisis.
If built, the 1,700-mile pipeline would carry millions of gallons of crude oil from Alberta in Canada to American refineries on the Gulf Coast. Because it crosses an international border, the pipeline requires approval by Mr. Obama’s administration after a review by the State Department. Mr. Obama has repeatedly said he would not make a decision until that process was complete.
But Republicans who support the pipeline have already signaled that they intend to demand approval of a permit for its construction in exchange for their willingness to support Mr. Obama and raise the nation’s debt ceiling next month.
“We feel like this is our only option,” said Representative Lee Terry, a Nebraska Republican who is one of the leading pipeline supporters.
Wikipedia says this:
As I understand it, a government default would be bad.
Extortion ... involves the verbal or written instillation of fear that something will happen to the victim if he or she does not comply with the extortionist's will.