White House Press Secretary Jay Carney declared that President Obama did not actually "turn down" the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, arguing that Republicans forced a decision before a proper environmental review was completed.
"The president didn't turn down the Keystone pipeline," Carney told Jake Tapper during the White House press briefing today. "You can't review and approve a pipeline the route for which doesn't exist."
Carney argued that Republicans sabotaged the Keystone environmental review by forcing Obama to approve the pipeline before environmental impact studies were completed because they were looking for "scalps" during the payroll tax cut extension negotiations. "It is unfortunate that the process was unfortunately halted because of the decision to play politics with the payroll tax cut extension," he added.