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Breaking News on Keystone XL Pipeline: More Delay

Don't expect President Obama to issue a yes or no decision on whether to build TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline until after the November elections. A pending Nebraska court case and millions of public comments were given as the reason for the delay
April 19, 2014, 5am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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The State Department's decision to delay decision on the controversial pipeline, which would extend 1,179 miles from Hardisty, Alberta to Steele City, Neb. (according to its website) was greeted with predictable reactions.

"Republicans (and some Democrats) who support the pipeline denounced the delay — placing the blame on President Obama — while environmental groups hailed it as a sign that the project will not move forward," writes David Jackson.

The court case, which we posted here in February, is not from environmentalists but from private landowners trying to prevent their property from being seized through eminent domain. Coral Davenport of The New York Times writes that the State Department, which has authority in the decision because the pipeline crosses national borders, needed a "clearer idea how legal challenges to the pipeline’s route through Nebraska will be settled."

Michael Brune of the Sierra Club was predictably pleased.

"Any day without the Keystone XL pipeline is a good day because it means more dirty tar sands crude stays in the ground where it belongs," he said in a press release.

While the decision please the president's supporters in the environmental community, it was met with displeasure by some candidates in his own party facing tough reelections.

"Today's decision by the Administration amounts to nothing short of an indefinite delay of the Keystone Pipeline," stated Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La.

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., who is not facing reelection, did not mince her words in expressing her frustration.

"It's absolutely ridiculous that this well-over-five-year-long process is continuing for an undetermined amount of time." 

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Published on Friday, April 18, 2014 in USA Today
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