Obama Dodges Political Tripwire: Keystone XL Delayed

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Those incumbent Senators banking on the Keystone XL pipeline as a policy boost will be sorely disappointed by the latest delay, but for the President it is likely a release. Last week, the President was drawn and quartered by environmental interests from the liberal base of his supporters, as well as by those Democratic Senators who hoped to push the pipeline construction through and gain votes in their state as a result  — votes desperately needed to keep a majority of Democrats in the Senate. The pipeline has been in limbo for five years so far, but on April 18 the U.S. Department of State alerted other federal agencies that they would be given an extended time period — indefinite — for use in reviewing the proposed pipeline in light of “the uncertainty created by the on-going litigation in the Nebraska Supreme Court, which could ultimately affect the pipeline route in that state,” as well as time to “review and appropriately consider the unprecedented number of public comments, approximately 2.5 million, received during the public comment period.”

The Obama administration is being criticized as a result, labor movements particularly up in arms, as well as those Senators whose states would have benefited with jobs and income. “Once again, the administration is making a political calculation instead of doing what is right for the country,” said Terry O’Sullivan, the general president of Laborers’ International Union of North America, to Bloomberg. “It’s clear the administration needs to grow a set of antlers, or perhaps take a lesson from Popeye and eat some spinach,” said O’Sullivan, dancing around testicular rhetoric rather poorly.

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