Secretary of State Hillary Clinton assured Canada’s foreign minister on Thursday the United States was on track to decide on TransCanada Corp’s bid for a $7 billion cross-border pipeline by the end of the year but gave no hint which way the decision would go.
Clinton met with Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird, who said he told her the Keystone project was “tremendously important to the future prosperity of the Canadian economy.”
“We are leaving no stone unturned in this process and we expect to make a decision on the permit before the end of this year,” Clinton told reporters in a joint appearance with Baird after their meeting.
Keystone XL, which would take petroleum from Canada’s oil sands to refineries in Texas, faces opposition from environmental groups and some U.S. politicians who say it would bolster more oil sands development, increasing greenhouse gas emissions and raise the risk of oil spills in the central U.S. states, site of a massive aquifer.
The State Department has said last week it will issue a final environmental assessment on the project in August and then government agencies will have 90 days to comment on it before a final decision is made.