Several key projects in the energy space are being held up by environmental and political red tape. One of the key questions energy executives tend to pose concerns our desire to create jobs. They say that these projects will create tens of thousands of short- and long-term jobs. So, why won't we approve of them?

Kinder Morgan Energy Partners (UNKNOWN:KMP.DL) is just the latest company to run head-on into environmental headwinds regarding its planned coal terminal expansion in Houston. Whether or not this $400 million expansion is approved could have a significant effect on the earnings potential of Kinder Morgan and several other coal companies. For now, it appears that fears over coal ash are winning out over economic development and job creation.

The same can be said for the amply covered Keystone XL pipeline. Debates continue to roll on about this project's possibilities. With job numbers ranging from the 2,000 mentioned by President Obama to TransCanada's (NYSE:TRP) 13,000, there are clear benefits beyond greater market efficiency. Unfortunately, Canadian oil sands are said to produce increased levels of environmentally damaging byproducts, so this project is most certainly still in limbo. Tune in below for more details on how these companies could be affected.