The State Department alone decided to delay the Keystone XL pipeline approval process yet again, and President Obama had no hand in the decision, White House press secretary Jay Carney said Monday.
Late last week, the State Department put on hold its 90-day review of the pipeline, a massive project that would move oil south from Alberta, Canada, through the U.S. to refineries on the Gulf Coast.
Officials at State said that the process must be suspended because of a pending Supreme Court case in Nebraska, which could end up altering the pipeline's route through the Cornhusker State.
Lawmakers from both parties slammed the decision and cast it as yet another delay by the administration — the latest in five years of foot-dragging that has frustrated many in Congress, the energy industry and the Canadian government.
But Mr. Carney said the White House has remained detached from the process and didn't pressure State one way or the other.
"The issue here has to do with a court decision in Nebraska and its impact on the ability for the State process to continue ... Absent a definite route through Nebraska, the decision, as I understand it, by State is that it can't continue until the situation in Nebraska is resolved," he told reporters Monday. "What the president has insisted on all along is that this process be run out of the State Department in accordance with established tradition for matters like these, and that's been the case here."
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