Obama delays Keystone XL decision, again

The announcement comes days after prominent Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, including former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, urged the Obama administration to reject the pipeline.

The Obama administration has announced it will delay the decision over the controversial Keystone XL pipeline indefinitely.

The U.S. State Department declined to comment on how long the delay will last, noting that it would need to extend its review because a Nebaska Supreme Court case could affect the pipeline's route. 

The announcement comes days after 11 Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, including former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, urged the Obama administration to reject the pipeline, which would carry 830,000 barrels of bitumen from Alberta to refineries in the mid-west and Nebraska.

Climate activist and billionaire Tom Steyer applauded the call as “good news on Good Friday for those who oppose Keystone as not being [America's] best interest.”

Republicans, as well as a handful of Democrats, expressed outrage over the delay. 

"It's absolutely ridiculous that this well over five year long process is continuing for an undetermined amount of time," Democrat Senator Heidi Heitkamp said in a statement. 

TransCanada expressed disappointment, saying the Obama government's decision to delay again was “inexplicable”. Calls for the rejection of the pipeline have intensified over the past several years, particularly after former NASA scientist James Hansen said Keystone XL would mean "game over" for the climate in 2011. 

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