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Obama on Keystone XL: Blame Hillary!

11:03 AM, Jan 19, 2012 • By MICHAEL WARREN
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Is Barack Obama pinning the blame for his failure to approve the Keystone XL pipeline on Hillary Clinton? Look at this White House statement from yesterday (emphasis mine): 

Earlier today, I received the Secretary of State’s recommendation on the pending application for the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline.  As the State Department made clear last month, the rushed and arbitrary deadline insisted on by Congressional Republicans prevented a full assessment of the pipeline’s impact, especially the health and safety of the American people, as well as our environment.  As a result, the Secretary of State has recommended that the application be denied.  And after reviewing the State Department’s report, I agree.

Back in October, Harry Reid sent a letter to Clinton encouraging her to reconsider the pipeline. But it seems the White House was always going to reject the application, with labor and environmentalist groups long pressuring the administration to back off on the pipeline. From a report last night from Politico

There was puzzlement, bordering on disgust, in the West Wing on Wednesday at all the professions of shock and outrage at President Barack Obama’s decision to reject the Keystone XL pipeline.

“Um, … this came as a surprise to anybody?” said a person close to Obama. “There was never the slightest bit of doubt we were going to say no.”

And yet Republicans are now pushing to have Clinton testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee about the pipeline’s application. So Clinton and the State Department, not Obama and the West Wing, are facing the brunt of the House Republicans’ outrage.

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