State Department Rejects Request to Pause Keystone XL Review

Large sections of Keystone Pipeline in Texas
Large sections of Keystone Pipeline in Texas / AP
November 4, 2015

The State Department said Wednesday that it has rejected a TransCanada request to suspend its review of the Keystone XL pipeline.

The Washington Examiner reported that State Department spokesman John Kirby said that there is no "legal basis" requiring the government agency to pause the review as requested by the Canada company.

"We have communicated our decision to continue our review, we have communicated that to TransCanada in writing today," Kirby said Wednesday.

"We’re not required to pause it based on an applicant’s request, there’s no legal basis to do that," Kirby said. "There’s no legal requirement to do that."

TransCanada asked the government agency Monday to suspend its review of the pipeline while it examines a state review process in Nebraska for the part of the pipeline to be built in that state.

"In order to allow time for certainty regarding the Nebraska route, TransCanada requests that the State Department pause in its review of the presidential permit application," the company said in a letter to the State Department.

Kirby said Wednesday that the department had no obligation to pause the review.

"There’s no obligation to pause," Kirby said. "A lot of work has gone into this to date, and the secretary wants that work to continue."