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Pipeline supporters denounce latest delay

Friday - 4/18/2014, 5:30pm  ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Republicans are denouncing the latest delay in the review process for the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada -- a process that has dragged on now for more than five years.

The Obama administration today extended indefinitely the amount of time federal agencies have to review the project. That means a decision might not come until after the November elections.

House Speaker John Boehner (BAY'-nur) calls the decision "shameful," and says there are no credible reasons for further delay. He says the project has "cleared every environmental hurdle and overwhelmingly passed the test of public opinion."

Democrats from energy-dependent states are joining in the criticism. Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu says President Barack Obama is signaling that a small minority of opponents can tie up the process forever in the courts.

But environmental groups fighting the pipeline are hailing the delay, arguing that it shows the State Department is taking seriously the arguments against the pipeline. An official with the League of Conservation Voters says it's "definitely great news."

Because the pipeline would cross the US-Canada border, the State Department has jurisdiction. But Obama is widely expected to make the final call. And he has said the pipeline will be considered to be not in the U.S. interest if it contributes significantly to increasing carbon dioxide emissions.

%@AP Links

187-v-28-(Jerry Bodlander, AP correspondent)--The administration has pushed back the deadline for a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline. AP correspondent Jerry Bodlander reports. (18 Apr 2014)

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188-c-21-(Jerry Bodlander, AP correspondent)-"unnecessary and unacceptable"-AP correspondent Jerry Bodlander reports the delay drew quick criticism from both sides of the aisle. (18 Apr 2014)

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APPHOTO WX107: FILE - This photo March 11, 2013 file photo shows a wooden stick with a pink ribbon marking the proposed route of the Keystone XL pipeline through farmland near Bradshaw, Neb. The US is extending indefinitely the amount of time federal agencies have to review the Keystone XL pipeline, the State Department said Friday, likely punting the decision over the controversial oil pipeline until after the midterm elections. The State Department didn't say how much longer it will grant agencies to weigh in, but cited a recent decision by a Nebraska judge that overturned a state law that allowed the pipeline's path through the state, prompting uncertainty and an ongoing legal battle. Nebraska's Supreme Court isn't expected to rule for another several months and there could be more legal maneuvering after that, potentially freeing President Barack Obama to avoid making a final call on the pipeline until after the election in November. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File) (17 Apr 2013)

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