The fate of the Keystone XL pipeline is facing a new delay. The State Department is giving federal agencies more time to review it before deciding whether to issue a permit.
That could push a decision about the controversial oil pipeline until after the midterm elections in November.
The State Department is citing a recent decision by a Nebraska judge that overturned a state law that allowed the pipeline's path through the state. The State Department says that created uncertainty and ongoing litigation.
The government is not saying how much longer the review will take. But it says the process isn't starting over.
The pipeline has become a politically-charged issue. Republicans criticize President Barack Obama for taking too long to decide. The State Department has jurisdiction because the pipeline would cross the border between the U.S. and Canada.
Nebraska Congressman Lee Terry released a statement Friday saying, “Yesterday, the President had the audacity to stand at the podium at the White House press office and lecture Republicans in Congress about the need to make tough decisions. But today, he punted a tough decision in the name of political expediency.
“It’s shameful that as we begin spring construction season, that hundreds of my constituents will be denied an opportunity to go to work on a project that will help secure America’s energy future solely because the President wants to placate his political base in an election year.”