Will Obama finally approve or reject the Keystone XL pipeline project "in a few months," as Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin recently claimed he vowed?

Don't count on it, at least according to The Hill's Laura Barron-Lopez, writing on the E2 wire. After so much back and forth on the issue since 2009, Obama and his inner circle continue to wrestle with the decision.

And they have a surprising number of options for which a strong political case can be made, according to Barron-Lopez.

Three Keystone choices

Here's how Barron-Lopez lays it out:

"If Obama gives construction of the oil-sands pipeline a green light this spring or summer, he could frame it as an example of his support for North American energy production, a boost for the economy, and a helpful concession to vulnerable Senate Democrats who support the $5.4 billion project.

"But he could go the other way. A flat-out rejection of the pipeline might enthuse the Democratic base for the midterm elections in November, which will hinge on turnout.

"The third option: Punt a decision again. A delay until after the midterms might be safest for the president because it would excite only mild criticism compared to the storm of opprobrium that would follow a firm decision either way."

And if the Senate goes GOP

Since keeping the Senate in Democratic control greatly depends on keeping the far-left base in the environmental movement writing checks and providing troops, an outright rejection of Keystone may be the most likely outcome.

But, as Barron-Lopez notes, more delay might be the better approach if it appears the November elections are going to be a GOP victory.

"Delay could also make Keystone a bargaining chip for the president in either the lame-duck session of Congress or next year, when he could face a Republican House and Senate," Barron-Lopez said.

It's anybody's guess

Secretary of State John Kerry is scheduled to make a recommendation to Obama this spring. Kerry's department has already decided there is no significant danger to the environment from the pipeline.

One thing is certain: If Obama rejects Keystone or delays the decision until after the election, a Republican-controlled Senate will make the project one of its first priorities in 2015.

But if Democrats somehow manage to maintain control of the Senate, Keystone will be dead come New Year's Day 2015.

On today's washingtonexaminer.com

Monday Editorial: The Affordable Care Act becomes unaffordable.

Sunday Editorial: Teachers' union strong-arms the financial community.

Columnist/Hugh Hewitt: Major contrasts in interviews with Hillary Clinton and Sen. Marco Rubio.

Columnist/James Jay Carafano: Five of the Obama doctrine's stealth foreign policy failures.

Columnist/Lawrence Kudlow: Charles Koch fights back with critique of Big Government.

Beltway Confidential/Joel Gehrke: Team Boehner tells Drudge House GOP repealed part of Obamacare.

Beltway Confidential/Joel Gehrke: Pelosi says Gibbs being paid to criticize Obamacare.

Policy News/Susan Ferrechio: House GOP to tackle Ryan budget plan while Senate Democrats chase paycheck fairness.

PennAve/Brian Hughes: Louisiana GOP Senate candidate Bill Cassidy raised $1.2 million in first quarter of 2014.

Legal Newsline/Heather Gvillo: Judge rules for defendant in asbestos case on product ID grounds.

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The New York Times: U.S. briefs China on America's cyber warfare strategy.

CBS News: Fort Hood shooting revives debate on guns, mental illness.

New York Post: McCaul says Fort Hood shooting could have been avoided with armed military officers.

USA Today: Gunmen seize government buildings in eastern Ukraine.

Time Magazine: India begins world's biggest democratic election.

Righty Playbook

The Weekly Standard: Jeb Bush decision on 2016 to come by end of this year.

National Review Online: The new pitchfork persecutors.

The American Conservative: Conservatism's power derived from its ideas, not the other way around.

Bonus must-read

The Federalist: For World Vision, is sexuality more important than theology?

Lefty Playbook

Daily Beast: The old GM is back.

American Prospect: How liberals should view Mozilla CEO's ouster.

Washington Monthly: Movies that pass the "female friendly" test are more likely to make a profit.

Bonus must-read

The New Republic: Stark raving Rahm.

Blog Right

Blue Collar Perspective: Where Charles Koch gets it wrong.

Kids Prefer Cheese: Obamacare and the snake eating its own tail.

The Marginal Revolution: Which social groups and classes should fear higher price inflation?

Blog Left

Talking Points Memo: Ortiz shot with Obama could be end of all selfies.

America Blog: John Aravosis calls out Obamacare horror stories on Fox News.

Talk Left: Aussie TV to air paid interview with inmate in Bali drug smuggling case.