Tar-sands pipeline decision put on hold until November or later.

Guardian: “The Obama administration has put on hold its most contentious environmental decision – whether to approve the Keystone XL pipeline – in a move likely to delay any action on the controversial project until after November’s midterm elections.”
“The State Department announced on Friday it would “provide more time” for a review into the pipeline, ostensibly due to ongoing litigation in a court in Nebraska. It did not say when the consultation is likely to be concluded.
….Officials did not say how long the extension would last, insisting the case taken up in the Nebraska supreme court could alter the route of the pipeline, with repercussions for a number of agencies.
A senior administration official rejected the suggestion the postponement was a politically motivated.
….The proposed pipeline route stretches 1,660 miles, north to south, through Montana and South Dakota – two Senate seats Republicans are trying to seize from Democrats in November. The pipeline decision is also threatening to become a major obstacle for Democrats in Louisiana, where the party’s incumbent, Senator Mary Landrieu, backs the project.
….Had Obama backed Keystone XL prior to November, he risked infuriating his Democratic base, many of whom see the decision as a signature test of his environmental capabilities. On the other hand, a decision not to proceed with the pipeline would have undermined several Democratic Senate campaigns, particularly in Louisiana.
….There are already about 2.3 million miles of pipeline across the US, carrying oil and natural gas, but the battle over Keystone XL has become a proxy war over climate change.
….This is not the first time the Obama administration has kicked the Keystone XL controversy into the long grass. After the pipeline grew into a contentious issue for environmentalists, in early 2012, Obama blocked the deal.”