President Obama and the U.S. Congress concluded the last contentious battle of 2011, the payroll tax cut debate, by reaching a short-term agreement to extend the tax cut for two months until a more permanent compromise could be reached. That same deal included the Keystone XL oil pipeline provision, which requires the President to make a decision on the pipeline within the next 60 days.

As reported in an earlier story by The New American’s Brian Koenig, “The Keystone XL pipeline is a $7-billion expansion which would transport Canadian crude oil from Alberta southeast through the U.S. Midwest, and then on to the Gulf Coast.”

The Washington Post reports, “President Obama had demanded that Congress extend the tax holiday, but Republicans had refused to go along unless the White House agreed to an accelerated decision on the pipeline.”