Obama Administration is Extending Comment Period for Keystone XL Pipeline


Capitol BuildingWASHINGTON— The Obama administration is extending the comment period on Transcanada’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline’s northern route, according to sources on Capitol Hill.

The State Department and congressional staff had a telephone call around 1:30 p.m. on Friday, April 18, 2014. The announcment came as a surprise to many members of Congress who are off for the the Easter recess and back in their home states.

The discussion centered on continuing litigation over a Nebraska court decision that called into question part of the proposed pipeline into doubt.

American Indians and environmentalists oppose the pipeline.

Rosebud Sioux Tribe Spirit Camp to oppose Keystone XL pipeline near Ideal, South Dakota.

Rosebud Sioux Tribe Spirit Camp to oppose Keystone XL pipeline near Ideal, South Dakota.

The proposed pipeline coming down through the Plains states has caused great concern, particularly among two Sioux tribes in South Dakota.

TransCanada’s proposed pipeline route is right though the Pine Ridge and Rosebud reservations. It will cross the Oglala Sioux Rural Water Supply System in two place.

American Indian opposition to the KXL is not limited to the Sioux tribes. The National Congress of American Indians passed a resolution that opposes the pipeline’s construction and urged the United States to reduce its reliance on oil from tar sands, instead to work towards cleaner, sustainable energy solutions.

On Friday, the U.S. State Department indicated other federal agencies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency, will not be informed of their deadline for comment until the Nebraska legal decision becomes more defined.

It was not clear on Friday if there would be a final decision by the State Department or the White House prior to the November congressional election.

UPDATED: Friday, April 18, 2014, 10:25 p.m. – EDT

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