A new environmental assessment from the State Department that raised no major environmental concerns on long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline isn’t the last step in deciding whether the pipeline can be built, the White House said late Friday.
The long-delayed pipeline got a major boost as it cleared a major hurdle toward approval, a serious blow to environmentalists’ hopes that President Obama will block the controversial project running more than 1,000 miles from Canada through the heart of the U.S.
The White House released a statement pushing back on the notion that the pipeline is now headed for speedy approval, saying Sec. of State John Kerry and other agency heads will “closely evaluate” the report in the coming weeks.
“The president has clearly stated that the project will be in the national interest only if it does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution,” White House spokesman Matt Lehrich said.
“A decision on whether the project is in the national interest will be made only after careful consideration of the SEIS and other pertinent information, comments from the public, and views of other agency heads.”
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