The Nebraska judge’s ruling that the Keystone XL pipeline route is illegal could potentially provide an out for President Obama to delay his final decision on whether to approve the controversial project.
Fuel Fix : “The judge’s decision gives Obama a reason to delay a politically sensitive decision that could roil Democratic plans to keep control of the Senate.”
“Putting off a decision lets Obama avoid angering voters in energy-rich states if he decides to back environmentalists and reject the project. Former hedge-fund manager Tom Steyer said he may spend $100 million to back anti-Keystone candidates.”
“’This gives the U.S. State Department and Obama an out,’ said Bob Schulz, a University of Calgary business professor … ‘Why would they decide if they don’t have to decide? I think he’s going to push it back another year.’”
Bloomberg : “’We would not be surprised if the administration used the events in Nebraska as a reason to delay making a decision as part of the presidential permit process,’ Robert Kwan, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, said.”
Attorney General Jon Bruning’s office plans to appeal the ruling to the Nebraska Supreme Court.
Crossposted at Wonk Wire.