GOP upbeat on Keystone XL pipeline prospects

Feb. 25, 2014 at 6:46 AM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Republican governors said they had assurances from President Barack Obama a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada will be made by the summer.

Obama met Monday with representatives from the Republican Governors Association behind closed doors at the White House. The state leaders said Obama gave them an update on TransCanada's pipeline planned from Alberta oil fields.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin was quoted by online news agency Politico as saying after the meeting the president "anticipates an answer one way or the other in a couple months." Texas Gov. Rick Perry was quoted as saying Obama was "going to approve the [Keystone] XL pipeline"

TransCanada submitted an application for Keystone XL more than five years ago. It needs federal consent as a cross-border pipeline and Obama said he'd weigh the project against its environmental footprint.

Pipeline opponents say the more viscous grade of crude oil found in Alberta poses a grave threat to the environment. A January review from the State Department downplayed some of the concerns.

A Nebraska court in February ruled Gov. Dave Heinemann exceeded his authority in signing off on the pipeline's route through his state. TransCanada was forced once to revise the route to avoid a fragile ecosystem and the court decision could further delay the pipeline's construction.

White House spokesman Jay Carney sidestepped questions about the Republican statements on the pipeline during his Monday press briefing.

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