Hmm, this is pretty complicated, they said. We’ll just toss out the multiple positive reviews we’ve already done and push this decision until the very end of 2012 or so, and no, President Obama’s reelection campaign has absolutely nothing to do with that timeline.

No, scratch that — we’re probably going to need until maybe the end of summer 2013 to allow some time for more comments and really examine every aspect of this project, they said.

Er, never mind. We’ve really got to dot the i’s and cross the t’s on this, so it’s probably going to take until the end of 2013 or the beginning of 2014, they said.

Actually — yeah, you probably just shouldn’t expect anything until 2014. We’re working on it. Trust us.

Via National Journal:

The State Department’s Office of Inspector General announced Friday it does not expect to release the results of an investigation into a possible conflict of interest in the department’s Keystone XL pipeline review until January—a move that could delay a final decision on the project until next year.

Earlier this month, the OIG began an inquiry into allegations made by the Sierra Club and other environmental groups that Environmental Resources Management, a consulting firm hired to produce the draft environmental impact statement for the pipeline, had ties to TransCanada Corp. and the American Petroleum Institute, two organizations with a key stake in the project. …

The conflict-of-interest inquiry and the State Department’s review of the pipeline have been ongoing, and State has not yet said when it will make a final determination on Keystone XL. But Friday’s announcement that the OIG investigation results won’t be released until January makes it likely that a decision on the project will be pushed back to 2014.

Would anyone like to put money on them finding convenient reasons to continue punting past the 2014 midterms? Anyone? Gotta’ keep reaping those big green-minded donors’ cash to help with Democrats’ campaigns before the midterms, you know — why risk alienating any competing interest groups now?