White House: No deadline on Keystone

White House press secretary Jay Carney attempted to sideline any noise that President Obama would establish a hard deadline for his decision on the Keystone XL pipeline Thursday.

"Our position on that process hasn’t changed, which is that it needs to run its appropriate course without interference from the White House or Congress," Carney said to reporters. "It was because of actions taken by Republicans in Congress that one delay was caused in the process already."

"So that review continues at the State Department, where it’s housed in accordance with past practice of previous administrations of both parties. And when there’s a decision to be announced, it will be announced," Carney said.

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On Thursday morning, 11 Senate Democrats sent a letter to Obama, urging him to approve the $5.4 billion project by May 31.

The Democrats, led by Sens. Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampAnnual scorecard ranks GOP environmental efforts far below Dems in 2018 Overnight Energy: Trump taps ex-oil lobbyist Bernhardt to lead Interior | Bernhardt slams Obama officials for agency's ethics issues | Head of major green group steps down Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary MORE (N.D.) and Mary LandrieuMary Loretta LandrieuDems wrestle over how to vote on ‘Green New Deal’ Lobbying world Former New Orleans mayor: It's not my 'intention' to run for president MORE (La.), who faces a stiff reelection bid this year, requested that Obama set a hard timeline for Secretary of State John Kerry to finish the department's national interest determination on the pipeline.

Shortly after Kerry wraps that up, the senators told Obama he should only take a few weeks before making his final decision at the end of May.