Kerry: No Rush To Decide On Keystone XL Pipeline

WASHINGTON (AP) — Brushing aside pressure from Canada, Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday that the United States will not be pushed into making a decision on the long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline.

At a joint appearance with Canada's foreign affairs minister, John Baird, Kerry said he has not received a crucial environmental report on the $7 billion pipeline, which would carry oil from western Canada to refineries in Texas.

"My hope is that before long, that analysis will be available, and then my work begins," Kerry said, referring to a recommendation he is expected to make on whether the pipeline is in the U.S. national interest. The State Department has jurisdiction over the pipeline because it crosses an international border.

Kerry, who has rarely spoken about the pipeline since taking office a year ago, said "a lot of questions" were raised about the project in a lengthy public comment period the State Department conducted. "Those comments have necessitated appropriate answers," he said.

"I can promise our friends in Canada that all the appropriate effort is being put into trying to get this done effectively and rapidly," Kerry added.

Kerry's comments came as Baird, his counterpart in Canada, concluded a three-day visit to Washington in which he repeatedly urged U.S. officials to decide quickly on the pipeline, which was first proposed by Calgary-based TransCanada in 2008.

"If there's one message I'm going to be promoting on this trip, it's this: the time for Keystone is now. I'll go further — the time for a decision on Keystone is now, even if it's not the right one," Baird told a U.S. Chamber of Commerce luncheon this week. "We can't continue in this state of limbo."


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James Moore | Jan. 20, 2014
They are waiting for their campaign donors to get their moneys worth before allowing the pipeline. Remember, Warren Buffett bought the railway system up there, and he is one the biggest donors to Obamas campaign. Give him maybe one more year of profits; then the pipeline will be approved.

James | Jan. 19, 2014
What Kerry really meant was "Who cares if more rail cars run off the tracks and blow up and kill people and pipelines are by far the cheapest and safest way to transport crude. What is important is that Warren Buffett continues to make money via his railroad as he was promised by Obama in return for supporting the so-called Presidents policies especially in the run up to the last election"...anybody remember "my secretary pays more in taxes than I do"????

glenn terrell | Jan. 17, 2014
The United States government needs to make a decision on this important issue. Thousands of jobs are hanging in limbo.The studies have already been done.We have thousands of miles of pipelines operating safely each day.Maybe this could help the oil boom we are having in the Dakotas.

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