WH: Congress shouldn't touch Keystone

 

The White House on Wednesday urged Senate Democrats to avoid a vote on authorizing construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said a Senate vote would inject politics into the process and could delay a final decision. He said the Senate should hold back and allow the State Department to complete a review.

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"What I can tell you is, the president has long maintained that it is appropriate for a process like this to be separated from politics and to be worked on and run out of the State Department, which has been the case through successive administrations of both parties," Carney said.

"And what we've seen in the past when Congress has passed legislation, it has actually slowed the process down. So we believe that this has to be run by the book outside of politics, and that's the way it's being run," Carney said. 

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Tuesday said he has had talks with Republicans and some Democrats to attach a Keystone measure to an energy efficiency bill. He indicated that the Keystone measure could come in the form of a nonbinding sense-of-the-Senate resolution, or binding legislation that would call for approval of the pipeline.