White House press secretary Jay Carney was pushed to come up with some answers on the Keystone XL pipeline during a press conference this afternoon at the White House. It’s a great sign of our success that the White House press pool is now pushing the President’s spokesperson on the pipeline — the message is clearly getting to the Administration that people across the country want this project stopped.
Not surprisingly, Carney tried to dodge the question and pass off the decision on Keystone XL to the State Department, saying, “This is a decision that will be made by the State Department and they are taking into … account public comment and comments certainly from experts, both environmental, as well as energy experts.” He later added, “I understand you’re trying to get me to engage in something that’s — that’s being reviewed over at the State Department, and, you know, my comments weren’t meant to address the Keystone issue.”
But we know that the real decision on Keystone XL is going to be made in the Oval Office. Here was Bill McKibben’s response to Carney’s comments:
Last week in Denver, the President reiterated his involvement in this decision, saying, ‘No decision’s been made and I know your deep concern about it, so we will address it.’ Now he wants us to believe that he’s delegating a decision that’s turned into a political flashpoint to the State Department? We’ve known from the very beginning that this decision would be made in the Oval Office–not at State, not at the EPA. It’s called a ‘Presidential Permit,’ and across the country we’ll hold him responsible for this decision. It’s time to do the right thing, not pass the buck–passing the buck has gotten us in the mess we’re in.
We’ll be driving that point home this November 6, when thousands of us surround the White House and push President Obama to live up to his promises and stop the Keystone XL pipeline. Looks like press secretary Carney should prepare for some more tough questions.