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The Big Stall

10:40 AM, Apr 19, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
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The news that the administration would like kept quiet, and which it therefore announced in the afternoon, on Good Friday is that it has:

... further delayed its decision on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline project ...

This means, as Patrick Rucker of Reuters reports:

The legal process will likely continue past November and might stretch into next year, meaning more delays for the politically-charged issue that has been on the drawing board for more than five years.

If the administration wanted the pipeline built, construction would have long since been underway.  We aren’t talking about the Panama Canal and while none would confuse President Obama with TR, when he wants something done, he isn’t deterred by the technicalities. Witness the numerous executive fiats regarding the implementation of Obamacare.

The White House political tacticians probably war-gamed it this way:

* Building it doesn’t buy us anything. Not after five years. No votes and no campaign dough.

* Delay keeps the environmentalists happy and that $100 million of Tom Steyer's money in play.

* This gives Mary Landrieu a handy club which she can apply up the side of our head.

* The unions will complain but where will they go.

* The oil will get here anyway, even if trucks and trains are less efficient.

* It’s a hard shot on the Canadians … but, hey, they don’t vote.

* Now, let’s knock off for the weekend.

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