Beltway Confidential

Obama postponing Keystone pipeline announcement

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Beltway Confidential,Sean Higgins,Environment,Energy Department,Analysis

President Obama will deliver a speech to Georgetown University on Tuesday in which he will announce new regulations on carbon-based energy sources. One thing he will not be talking about though: The long-in-the-works Keystone XL pipeline project.

Buried deep in a Washington Post story about the announcement is the news that Obama “will steer clear of making a definitive statement on the fate of the Keystone XL pipeline.”  The State Department is “still reviewing” the project, which would transport oil from Canada’s tar sands to the Gulf of Mexico.

That’s noteworthy because back in January, the White House leaked word to Reuters that a decision on the pipeline would come by this month. With the month nearly over, it appears the White House is kicking the can further down the road yet again.

The push to increase regulations on carbon-emitting power plants may even be a move intended to placate the environmentalists upset over the administration’s positions on this and other key issues.

Environmentalists have been heavily pressuring the administration to oppose Keystone XL but all indications are that the administration is leaning towards approving the project.

With the White House announcing just last week that it was backing down on fracking, the controversial natural gas extraction process, they have evidently decided this wasn’t the time to also talk about Keystone.

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