Secretary of State John F. Kerry said Friday that he would stick to a “very open and transparent” permitting process for the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline, adding, “I hope we will be able to make an announcement in the near term.”
Emerging from a meeting with Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird, Kerry said, “We have a legitimate process that is underway, and I’m going to honor that.” He said it was “fair and accountable.”
It was Kerry’s first meeting as secretary with a foreign diplomat, a nod to neighborliness but also to the importance of settling the Keystone XL issue.
In an interview, Baird said, “We’d certainly like to see a decision midway through the year.”
“We have always thought we could get a decision as early as” the first quarter of the year, Baird said. He said getting approval from Nebraska of a new route around ecologically sensitive areas there “delayed that a little bit.”