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  • WH: Obama Will Rule On Keystone XL Before He Leaves Office

    President Barack Obama will decide the fate of the Keystone XL oil pipeline before he leaves office, The White House told reporters Tuesday.

    Obama “would like to have this determination be completed before he leaves office,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said, adding that Obama was not in favor of letting the review process go on much longer.

    “But given how long it’s taken … it seems unusual to me to suggest that somehow it should be paused yet again,” Earnest said.

    Earnest’s remarks come after TransCanada, the company looking to build Keystone, asked the Department of State to suspend the project’s application after seven years of delays. It’s likely the company does not think Keystone will get approval from Obama or any Democratic administration afterward.

    Keystone has become political football this presidential election, with every Democratic candidate opposing the project and every Republican supporting it. The recent electoral victory of Canada’s Liberal Party may have also convinced TransCanada to suspend the project.

    “There’s reason to believe there may be politics at play here,” Earnest said of TransCanada’s request to have its application suspended.

    Keystone XL has been opposed by Obama’s environmentalists allies who say it will cause more global warming and result in oil spills along the project’s route. Pipeline supporters, on the other hand, have said Keystone will create jobs and increase American energy security.

    “Instead of saying yes to jobs and North American energy security, the administration continues to say no by its failure to make a decision on approving the Keystone XL Pipeline until it becomes someone else’s problem or until those who are attempting to invest in new American jobs simply give up,” Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski said in a statement.

    Republicans have been critical of Obama’s handling of the project for years, but it should come as no surprise should the president decide Keystone is not in the national interest.

    Obama has repeatedly criticized claims Keystone would create jobs and help grow the economy. The president also voiced concerns the project would increase U.S. carbon dioxide emissions.

    Ironically, Obama’s own State Department’s own review of the project, however, found Keystone XL would not impact global warming or the environment. The department argued that oil sands would be extracted with or without the pipeline.

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