- The Nebraska judge’s decision throwing out the Keystone XL (TRP -1.2%) pipeline route in the state appears to give Pres. Obama precisely what he hoped for: political cover to delay the politically sensitive decision past the 2014 midterm elections.
- Yesterday's decision invalidated legislation that let Nebraska's governor approve the route and bypass the state Public Service Commission; now the project will need commission approval, a process that by state law can take seven months.
- Putting off a decision lets Obama avoid angering voters in energy-rich states if he decides to back environmentalists and reject the project, and Keystone foes are optimistic that a review by the state commission would be much more rigorous than the process followed by the governor.
- Also: Q4 earnings.