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Protesters rally about the Keystone XL oil pipeline along U.S. President Barack Obama Protesters rally about the Keystone XL oil pipeline along U.S. President Barack Obama's motorcade as he arrives at the Jefferson Hotel in Washington July 11, 2013. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas  

Obama says Keystone XL decision will come ‘in a couple months’

After more than five years of delays, President Obama has finally given a tentative timeline on when he expects to make a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline.

The Washington Examiner reports that Obama told the National Governors Association on Monday that he would make a final decision on the controversial pipeline “in a couple of months” — after only five years of waiting.

Oklahoma Republican Gov. Mary Fallin told reporters that Obama plans to make the decision in a few months, just in time for the midterm elections. Reporters also took to Twitter to relay the message: a Keystone decision was in the pipeline.

Gov. Fallin (R-Okla) says POTUS indicated he’d make final Keystone decision in a matter of months

— Mike Memoli (@mikememoli) February 24, 2014

Governors report Pres Obama said he anticipates a decision on whether to build the Keystone Pipeline “in a couple of months.”

— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) February 24, 2014

Despite the news, it’s far from clear whether or not Obama will follow through on his promise to make the decision, or even if the president will approve or veto the pipeline. Republican governors were not all in agreement that the pipeline will be approved.

Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry was confident Obama would greenlight the pipeline, while Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal was less confident.

Gov. Perry predicts: Obama will approve the Keystone XL pipeline. “Write it down.”

— Mike Memoli (@mikememoli) February 24, 2014

Jindal: Perry’s more confident than I am that POTUS will approve Keystone

— Mike Memoli (@mikememoli) February 24, 2014

Last summer Obama made it clear that he would only approve the Keystone XL pipeline if it was shown not to significantly add to U.S. carbon dioxide emissions, which climate scientists argue drive global warming.

“Our national interest will be served only if this project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution,” Obama said. “The net effects of the pipeline’s impact on our climate will be absolutely critical to determining whether this project is allowed to go forward.”

The State Department’s final assessment of the pipeline found that it would not significantly add to global warming because oil would get to market and Canada’s oil sands deposits would be extracted and brought to market even without Keystone.

Environmentalists disagree and argue that Keystone would cause Canadian oil sands production to grow and increase carbon dioxide emissions.

“The President has two choices before him: fighting climate disruption or promoting an energy policy that includes the expansion of dirty fossil fuels like tar sands,” said Michael Brune, the Sierra Club’s executive director. “The Keystone XL tar sands pipeline fails the basic climate test, and it’s not in the interest of the American people. The president should reject the tar sands pipeline once and for all.”

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