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Obama’s Keystone Decision Expected in a ‘Couple’ of Months

TransCanada Corp. Hardisty Terminal
The TransCanada Corp. Hardisty Terminal 2, currently under construction in anticipation of the Keystone XL pipeline approval, stands in Hardisty, Alberta, Canada. Photographer: Brett Gundlock/Bloomberg

Feb. 24 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama told governors that a decision over whether to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada 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 today of the timetable without indicating how the administration would decide.

“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 Corp. of Calgary applied more than five years ago for a permit to build the $5.4 billion pipeline through the U.S. heartland, connecting oil sands in Alberta with refineries along the coast of Texas and Louisiana. The 875-mile pipeline would run from the U.S.-Canada border to Steele City, Nebraska. From there it would connect to an existing pipeline network.

Its planned 830,000-barrel-a-day capacity has spawned a multimillion-dollar lobbying fight, leaving Obama to choose between angering an ally in Canada or his supporters in the environmental movement.

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

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

To contact the reporters on this story: William Selway in Washington at; Mark Niquette in Columbus at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Merelman at

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