The State Department is allowing more time for government agencies to weigh in on the project—a review process that was expected to end in early May, State Department officials told congressional staff on Friday.
TransCanada Corp. wants to send oil through a pipeline from Canad to Gulf Coast refineries.
Earlier this month 11 Senate Democrats, including Mary Landrieu, sent a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to make a final decision on the pipeline by May 31.
Landrieu issued a statement calling the decision to delay unnecessary.
"Today’s decision by the Administration amounts to nothing short of an indefinite delay of the Keystone Pipeline. This decision is irresponsible, unnecessary and unacceptable. By making it clear that they will not move the process forward until there is a resolution in a lawsuit in Nebraska, the administration is sending a signal that the small minority who oppose the pipeline can tie up the process in court forever. There are 42,000 jobs, $20 billion in economic activity and North America's energy security at stake."
House Speaker John Boehner accused the President of playing politics with this decision.
“This delay is shameful. With tens of thousands of American jobs on the line and our allies in Eastern Europe looking for energy leadership from America, it’s clear there is little this administration isn’t willing to sacrifice for politics. For no reason other than the president’s refusal to stand up to the extreme left, good-paying jobs and North American energy remain out of reach. 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. And if we’ve learned anything from the events in Ukraine, it’s that energy security sends signals across borders, and nations in the region hoping for greater American energy exports will no doubt take notice of this egregious decision. There are no credible reasons to block this pipeline even one day more, and the House will continue to press the administration to move forward so we can put Americans back to work and strengthen our energy security.”
Congressman Bill Cassidy says he's disappointed by the decision.
"There is nothing preventing the Obama Administration from approving the Keystone XL pipeline. The long delay has already strained ties with our largest trading partner and denied work to potentially thousands of Louisiana energy workers. If the President were truly interested in a better economy with well-paying jobs and good benefits, he would have approved this three years ago.”
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