POLITICS: PennAve

John Boehner slams Keystone XL delay as 'shameful'

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Politics,White House,Congress,John Boehner,PennAve,State Department,Keystone XL,Energy and Environment,Meghashyam Mali,Oil

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, on Friday slammed the State Department's move to delay its decision on whether to approve the Keystone XL pipeline as “shameful.”

“This delay is shameful. With tens of thousands of American jobs on the line and our allies in Eastern Europe looking for energy leadership from America, it's clear there is little this administration isn't willing to sacrifice for politics,” said the speaker in a statement.

“For no reason other than the president’s refusal to stand up to the extreme left, good-paying jobs and North American energy remain out of reach. This job-creating project has cleared every environmental hurdle and overwhelmingly passed the test of public opinion, yet it’s been blocked for more than 2,000 days,” he added.

The Obama administration on Friday announced that they would extend the review period for the pipeline project. State Department officials cited ongoing litigation in Nebraska over the pipeline’s route and said more time was needed to allow for comment.

The extended review could delay a final decision potentially until after November’s midterms.

The Keystone debate has placed President Obama in a tough spot, with his supporters split. Key labor unions want the project to proceed, arguing that it will create jobs, while environmental groups oppose the pipeline.

Boehner said the decision would also spur worries among U.S. allies abroad, citing the crisis in Ukraine, where the nation -- heavily dependent on Russian energy supplies -- has seen its territorial integrity threatened by Moscow.

“If we’ve learned anything from the events in Ukraine, it’s that energy security sends signals across borders, and nations in the region hoping for greater American energy exports will no doubt take notice of this egregious decision,” he wrote.

Boehner urged the administration to quickly approve the project.

“There are no credible reasons to block this pipeline even one day more, and the House will continue to press the administration to move forward so we can put Americans back to work and strengthen our energy security,” he said.

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