The US State Dept. has green-lighted the controversial Keystone XL pipeline which will connect oil sands regions in Canada to refineries in the United States. Controversy swirled around the pipelines routing which will take it across the Great Plains to oil facilities in Oklahoma and the Gulf Coast. The pipeline project is expected to create 20,000 construction jobs as well as 100,000 indirect jobs and is seen as a boost to North American energy production and security. At its peak, the project is expected to raise Canada’s oil exports by 700,000 barrels a day - equal to the production of Malaysia. The new pipeline is expected to be operational by 2013.