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State Department Pulls Keystone XL Out of the Fast Lane

November 11, 2011

FORT PECK, Mont. - Accusations of ethical violations, environmental concerns and private property rights related to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline from Canada into the United States could get a closer look by the U.S. State Department. A decision on a federal permit for the project has been delayed and will be reevaluated.

Fort Peck landowner Don Brown is one of many Montanans whose property would be affected by the project, and he's cheering the decision.

"My great concern from the very beginning was the safety, and no emergency response plan."

Keystone XL would move tar sands oil 1700 miles from Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast. TransCanada Corporation has promoted the pipeline as a job-creator and important for domestic energy needs, although there's no guarantee the oil would be used in the U.S.

A delay in the decision could be as long as 18 months, and require a new environmental review. Joe Mendelson with the National Wildlife Federation has a prediction.

"We look forward to actually having a thorough review of this project, and when that review's done, we're confident we'll get a 'no' vote and say this thing does not go forward at all."

The State Department specifically mentioned ecologically-sensitive areas in Nebraska as reason for considering a new pipeline route.

The State Department announcement is at www.state.gov

Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - MT