Taken Question
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
November 30, 2011

Question: What is the State Department’s reaction to Senator Lugar’s bill that would force the Administration to issue a permit for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline within 60 days?

Answer: The Department remains committed to ensuring a transparent, thorough and rigorous review of whether the proposed pipeline project is in the national interest. Consistent with Executive Order 13337, after consultations with a broad range of stakeholders, we determined it is necessary to specifically assess alternative routes around the environmentally sensitive Nebraska Sand Hills. Based on past experience and possible total mileage of alternative routes that would need to be reviewed, we anticipate the evaluation could conclude as early as the first quarter of 2013. We look forward to continuing to consult with Congress as this process moves forward.

PRN: 2011/2035