Policy: Environment & Energy

Did Jay Carney just undermine Obama on Keystone XL?

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Barack Obama,Interior,Canada,Ashe Schow,State Department,Keystone XL,Energy and Environment,Jay Carney,Oil

White House press secretary Jay Carney said Thursday the process for approving the Keystone XL pipeline would remain in place, despite President Obama assuring governors in February that the decision would be made “in a couple months.”

Carney was asked about a letter sent to the White House by 11 Senate Democrats (including five up for re-election) urging the administration to approve the pipeline. The senators requested that Obama specifically outline a timeline for approving the pipeline.

“Our position on that process hasn’t changed, which is that it needs to run its appropriate course without interference from the White House or Congress,” Carney said.

Without interference from the White House? That seems to undercut Obama’s assurance that he would make a final decision on the pipeline “in a couple months,” with no mention of the standard review process.

Carney also took the opportunity to blame Republicans for the delay, even though nearly every member of the GOP supports the pipeline.

“It was because of actions taken by Republicans in Congress that one delay was caused in the process already,” Carney said. “So that review continues at the State Department, where it's housed in accordance with past practice of previous administrations of both parties. And when there's a decision to be announced, it will be announced.”

Obama, call your office.

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