To the Surprise of No One, The U.S. Delays Review of Keystone XL PipelinePosted: April 18, 2014 Filed under: Breaking News, Politics, U.S. News | Tags: Barack Obama, John Boehner, Keystone Pipeline, Mary Landrieu, Mitch McConnell, Nebraska, Obama, State Department 2 Comments
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is extending indefinitely the amount of time federal agencies have to review the Keystone XL pipeline, the State Department said Friday, likely punting the decision over the controversial oil pipeline past the midterm elections.
“This decision is irresponsible, unnecessary and unacceptable.”
— Sen. Mary Landrieu (D)
The State Department didn’t say how much longer agencies will have to weigh in but cited a recent decision by a Nebraska judge overturning a state law that allowed the pipeline’s path through the state, prompting uncertainty and an ongoing legal battle. Nebraska’s Supreme Court isn’t expected to rule for another several months, and there could be more legal maneuvering after that. The delay potentially frees President Barack Obama to avoid making a final call on the pipeline until after the November election.
In an ironic show of bipartisanship, prominent Democrats from energy-dependent states joined Republicans in blasting the Obama administration for delaying the decision once again.
“The agency consultation process is not starting over. The process is ongoing, and the department and relevant agencies are actively continuing their work in assessing the permit application,” the State Department said in a statement.
Republicans were quick to blast the latest delay in a review process that has dragged on for more than five years. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., accused Obama of kowtowing to “radical activists” from the environmental community, while House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, called the decision “shameful” and said there were no credible reasons for further delay.
“This job-creating project has cleared every environmental hurdle and overwhelmingly passed the test of public opinion, yet it’s been blocked for more than 2,000 days,” Boehner said in a statement.
In an ironic show of bipartisanship, prominent Democrats from energy-dependent states joined Republicans in blasting the Obama administration for delaying the decision once again. Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu, who faces a difficult re-election this year in conservative-leaning Louisiana, said Obama was signaling that a small minority of opponents can tie up the process forever in the courts, sacrificing 42,000 jobs and billions in economic activity in the process.
“This decision is irresponsible, unnecessary and unacceptable,” Landrieu said.
But environmental groups fighting the pipeline hailed the delay, arguing that it shows the State Department is taking the arguments against the pipeline seriously….(read more) AP
Associated Press writers Bradley Klapper and Matthew Lee, and Grant Schulte in Lincoln, Neb., contributed to this report.
- Democrats press Obama for Keystone pipeline decision (washingtontimes.com)
- Jimmy Carter comes out against Keystone XL pipeline (washingtonpost.com)
- Keystone XL opponents winning celebrity battle – but will it make a difference? (business.financialpost.com)
- Democrats tout ‘friend and ally’ Canada in urging Obama to decide Keystone XL pipeline’s fate by May 31 (business.financialpost.com)
- Nobel laureates condemn Keystone as climate-change trigger (vancouversun.com)
- Keystone XL Opponents Carve Anti-Pipeline Message Into Field (huffingtonpost.com)
- Ottawa Scolds Jimmy Carter Over Keystone XL Position (theepochtimes.com)
- Opponents of proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline carve message into Nebraska field in its path (canadianbusiness.com)
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