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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