Keystone: A December concession with November consequences
In a last-minute deal with Republicans to get the payroll tax break extended back in December, the White House agreed to a 60-day window to decide whether the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline should be approved for a permit.
The concession carried little suspense -- aides knew the president was going to reject a premature decision on the pipeline. But it nonetheless created consequences for the November 2012 election.
On Wednesday, President Barack Obama unceremoniously rejected the permit, a decision he had hoped he could delay until 2013. And Republicans immediately set their battle lines for the fall campaign, announcing hearings and sounding what is likely to become a familiar battle cry by November.
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