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Montana governor blames Nebraska - not Obama - for Keystone rejection

Not all supporters of the Keystone XL oil pipeline are blaming President Obama after he rejected the project proposal yesterday.

One example: Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D).

“What the State Department is tasked with doing is getting a complete application that says, ‘Here is the pipeline being proposed.’ But unfortunately, in an unprecedented way, the governor of Nebraska called a special session, changed the laws in Nebraska so that TransCanada no longer has a route, and there’s been no permit granted in Nebraska,” Schweitzer said today on MSNBC’s "Andrea Mitchell Reports."

Because the pipeline route is not yet approved in Nebraska, President Obama had no choice but to strike down the proposal, Gov. Schweitzer explained.

“In Nebraska, they say it’s going to be at least six months, maybe a year before they can actually grant a permit. And yet we’re standing before the administration and saying to them, ‘We have an inadequate application, it’s not complete, we don’t know where the route is, so we can’t tell you how big the pipeline will be or where it’s going to be delivered to, now we want you to give us approval.’”

He added, “These jokers in Congress that are trying to force the president to approve of an incomplete application are just making mischief. They’re not helping us develop energy,” he said.

Montana, where the employment rate is below the national average at 7.1%, has a particular interest in seeing the pipeline built -- so that its oil can reach the refineries on the Gulf coast and make it to market, Gov. Schweitzer explained.

“As the chief executive of Montana, if they asked me to approve of a pipeline with an incomplete application, I would have to reject it. And I am the biggest proponent of this pipeline in America,” he said.