Facing the sunrise on a frigid morning, Rosebud Sioux tribal leader Royal Yellow Hawk offered an ancient prayer in song, his voice periodically muffled by the whistling prairie wind. Behind Yellow Hawk was a cinematic scene from another century: 30-foot-tall tipis arranged in a half circle, quickly brightening in the morning light.
The Keystone XL is being built by the Canadian energy company, Trans Canada. This fourth and final phase of the project—still awaiting approval by the Obama administration—will cost an estimated $5.4 billion. Other segments of the Keystone–at an estimated cost of $5 billion—have been in operation since 2010, bringing the tar sands oil from Hardisty, Alberta, to refineries in the American Midwest and the Gulf Coast.
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