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Energy & Environment

Former Obama Administration Official Speaks Out On Keystone XL Delays

A White House decision on Keystone appears unlikely before the November elections.


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A final decision from the White House on construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline may not be forthcoming until after the midterm elections in November.

The State Department had planned to issue its final recommendation to the White House in May on whether to approve construction of the pipeline. But the department has pushed back the release date indefinitely, in order to allow further comment from eight federal agencies.

Charles McConnell served as President Obama’s Assistant Secretary of Energy from 2011 to 2013. He now heads the Energy and Environment Initiative at Rice University.

“The State Department, as well as the Department of Commerce, the Department of Energy, the EPA, have weighed in several times on studies over the past several years looking at the implications of the pipeline, and the reports have come back, time and time again, favorably. And yet it seems to be a political football that just won’t go away.”

The State Department cited the uncertain legal status of the pipeline route as the main reason for the delay. The route is at the center of a case before the Nebraska Supreme Court.


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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media's coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media's business reporter, covering the oil...

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