Democratic Senators Encourage President to Set Keystone Deadline

April 11, 2014 06:32 AM

Yesterday, 11 Senate Democrats, led by Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) and Mary Landrieu (D-La.), sent President Barack Obama a letter urging him to set a May 31, 2014 deadline for a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline permit application.

Specifically, they requested the president use his executive authority to require Secretary of State John Kerry to make a national interest determination on the pipeline within 15 days of the the end of the 90-comment and consultation period for federal agencies and for the president himself to commit to making a decision on or before May 31.

The letter detailed the steps of the "exhaustive" five-year process in evaluating the impact of the pipeline, which they say has "already taken much longer than anyone can reasonably justify." They also encouraged the president to make the "right" decision that the Keystone XL pipeline is in the national interest.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney brushed off the letter. "Our position on that process hasn’t changed, which is that it needs to run its appropriate course without interference from the White House or Congress... when there's a decision to be annnounced, it will be announced," he responded.

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