The Obama administration's move pleases environmentalists but opens the president to criticism that he failed to pursue a chance to create thousands of jobs.
The State Department said Thursday that it will delay consideration of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline to study alternative routes, addressing what it termed were environmental concerns about a posssible path through Nebraska’s Sand Hills region.
The project has left Obama trapped between environmentalists who oppose it and unions who back it because it would create jobs.
In a sign of hardening skepticism toward the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, a top Senate Democrat has sent a letter to the Obama administration asking about a possible conflict of interest between the pipeline operator and a company handling the environmental impact study of the project.
At hearings along the pipeline's route from Montana to Texas, traditional political bases are at each other's throats.