The politicos sitting in Washington are in love, and this time it’s with more than just their usual lobbyists.
They now swoon for the state Supreme Court in Nebraska. If you recall, a state judge in Nebraska ruled in February that the Keystone XL pipeline couldn’t be approved by the state’s supportive governor.
And in doing so, the judge’s ruling allowed the Obama Administration to stray from their promise made earlier this year that a decision would finally come on the controversial pipeline sometime around May.
Since the pending court case likely won’t be resolved until after the midterm elections in November, the State Department can use it as a reason to delay their decision and continue to hesitate on its approval.
Washington’s politicians, I’m sure, all breathed a sigh of relief in not having to make a divisive decision so close to an election.
But where will they go from here?
Clearly the pipeline will not see a 2014 construction date, and if approved after elections it could still be as long as July 2015 before construction can finally begin. Pushing it already well into the summer construction season.
In any case, Keystone XL will retain its use as a powerful political weapon. In fact, I’m not convinced that President Obama opposes it, but kicking the can down the road will be especially useful for the President if the Democrats lose their majority in the Senate.
He could use the pipeline as a bargaining chip to push immigration reform or a minimum wage increase through Congress in 2015.
Don’t expect the pipeline to never be built, just expect it to take a while.
And no matter what happens in Nebraska, TransCanada (NYSE: TRP) will continue to feel the hit on the stock market until the government stops hesitating and starts approving.