State Dept. pipeline decision likely in 'a couple' of months

Feb 24, 2014

President Barack Obama told the governors of Oklahoma and Louisiana that a decision regarding the northern leg of the Keystone XL oil pipeline probably will be made within “a couple” of months.

Governors Mary Fallin of Oklahoma and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, both Republicans, said in separate news conferences that Obama told them of the timetable on Feb. 24, according to a report by Bloomberg News.

“He said a decision would be forthcoming over the next couple of months,” Jindal told reporters in Washington. “He didn’t show his cards one way or the other. He said some people would be happy. Some people would be unhappy.”

TransCanada Corporation applied more than five years ago for a permit to build a $5.4 billion pipeline from Alberta the coast of Texas. The southern leg of the pipeline, which runs from Cushing, Okla., to Southeast Texas, is already online. However, the southern leg is transporting ordinary crude oil, not the tar sands product from Canada.

The 875-mile northern leg would run from the U.S.-Canada border to Steele City, Neb. Because of the international border, the project requires U.S. State Dept. approval. The southern leg of Keystone XL did not.

White House press secretary Jay Carney declined to comment on the discussion between Obama and the governors or on the timing of a decision, according to Bloomberg.

“I don’t have a timetable to give to you,” he said.