US Delays Review of Contentious Keystone Pipeline
In a surprise announcement as Washington was winding down for Easter, the State Department said federal agencies will have more time to weigh in on the politically fraught decision — but declined to say how much longer. Officials said the decision will have to wait for the dust to settle in Nebraska, where a judge in February overturned a state law that allowed the pipeline’s path through the state.
Nebraska’s Supreme Court isn’t expected to hear an appeal to that ruling until September or October, and there could be more legal maneuvering after the high court rules. So President Barack Obama will almost surely have until after the November election to make the final call about whether Keystone XL should be built.
Approving the pipeline before the election would rankle Obama’s allies and donors in the environmental community, but nixing it could be politically damaging to vulnerable Democrats running this year in conservative-leaning areas.