The White House maintained on Monday that the decision to delay the review of the Keystone XL oil pipeline was not based on politics. The State Department said last week it would delay its recommendation on the project, and the White House said it was not involved in that decision.
“I know there’s a great urge and has always been to make this about politics,” said White House press secretary Jay Carney. “But we’ve see along this process, along the way here, along the route, you know, a series of actions taken in keeping with past practice where the reviews are done out of the State Department.”
Carney said he was not aware of any conversations between the White House and State Department before the announced delay, which may allow President Obama to avoid making a decision about the controversial project until after the midterm elections.
“The issue here has to do with a court decision in Nebraska and its impact on the ability for the State [Department] process to continue for agencies to be able to comment,” Carney said. “And absent a definite route through Nebraska, the decision as I understand it by State is that that can’t continue until the situation in Nebraska is resolved.”
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