Keystone XL pipeline clears significant hurdle - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

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Keystone XL pipeline clears significant hurdle

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) - The proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada has cleared a significant hurdle after the State Department raised no major environmental objections to its construction.

The department's report was released Friday. It says Canadian tar sands are likely to be developed regardless of U.S. action on the pipeline and other options to get the oil from western Canada to Texas Gulf Coast refineries are worse for the environment.

The latest environmental review stops short of recommending approval of the project.

The portion of the pipeline under review by the State Department is the northern half, which stretches from Alberta, Canada to Nebraska. The cross-border sections requires the president's approval.

But the report gives the Obama administration political cover if it chooses to endorse the pipeline in spite of opposition from many Democrats and environmental groups. State Department approval of the project is needed because it crosses a U.S. border. A decision is not expected before the summer.

Oil began flowing through the East Texas portion of the pipeline from Oklahoma to Houston in December.

Copyright 2014 KLTV. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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