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State Department acted properly on Keystone: report

By Timothy Gardner WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The State Department acted properly in its choice of an outside contractor to review the Keystone XL oil pipeline, a U.S. report said on Wednesday, raising calls by the project's supporters for President Barack Obama to approve it. The State Department inspector general's report cleared the State Department of accusations by environmentalists there was undue influence by the pipeline's developer on a draft federal environmental review of the contentious project.

Kerry stays mum on Keystone pipeline deliberations

US Secretary of State John Kerry Wednesday refused to give away any hint on whether he will approve a controversial Canada to US oil pipeline, saying he was intensely studying the plan. The Keystone XL pipeline, first proposed in 2008, is slated to cross US borders bringing oil from the tar sands of Alberta to refineries in the US state of Nebraska and then further south to Texas. But it has been long delayed awaiting an environmental review from the State Department, and a final recommendation from Kerry, who has long been a passionate advocate for the environment.

Health horrors of Alta oilsands described by anti-pipeline U.S. senators

WASHINGTON - American opponents of the Alberta oil industry shared horror stories Wednesday about its impact on human health as they promised to expand their battlefield beyond concerns about climate change. A pair of anti-Keystone XL senators invited people to offer anecdotes about cancer rates, contaminated fish and respiratory problems at sites where the oil is extracted, transported or refined.

Iran says Pakistan obliged to complete gas pipeline

Iran's oil ministry said Wednesday that Pakistan is contractually obliged to complete a major pipeline project which would allow Tehran to export gas to its southeastern neighbour. The warning came a day after Pakistan's oil minister, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, said work on the pipeline was not possible because of sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union on Tehran over its controversial nuclear drive.

Energy East opponent says NEB's TransCanada audit underscores concerns

CALGARY - Problems flagged in the National Energy Board's audit of TransCanada Corp.'s pipeline safety practices should have Canadians worried, a group fighting that company's proposed Energy East pipeline said Tuesday. The audit report, released Monday, found TransCanada (TSX:TRP) to be non-compliant in four of nine areas it examined: hazard identification, risk assessment and control; operational control in upset or abnormal operating condition; inspection, measurement and monitoring, and management review.

Pakistan Iran pipeline not possible due to US sancions

Pakistan on Tuesday said that work on a pipeline to import gas from Iran cannot proceed because of sanctions imposed by the United Sates and the Eurpeon Union on Tehran. The Iranian side of the $7.5-billion project is almost complete, but Pakistan has run into repeated problems paying for the 780 kilometre (485 mile) section to be built on its side of the border. Last year, Pakistan had asked Iran for $2 billion in financing to build its side of the controversial gas pipeline.

NEB audit on TransCanada pipeline safety practices finds room for improvement

CALGARY - A National Energy Board audit has found room for improvement when it comes to TransCanada Corp.'s (TSX:TRP) pipeline safety practices. Although the federal energy watchdog is "of the view that the processes presently used by TransCanada have identified the majority, and most significant, of its hazards and risks," it says the company is still breaking the rules in some areas.

Obama says expects Keystone decision in next couple months -Oklahoma governor

By Roberta Rampton WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama told governors at a White House meeting on Monday he expects a decision on whether to allow the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline from Canada in the next couple of months, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin told reporters. Fallin, a Republican who strongly supports the pipeline, said she asked Obama whether he would use his executive powers to approve the pipeline, which has been under government review since 2008.

Small Nebraska agency might further complicate Keystone fight

By Ayesha Rascoe WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A small Nebraska state commission that has never considered a major oil pipeline route could soon play a pivotal role in deciding the fate of the Keystone XL pipeline, a project brimming with political risk for both the U.S. and Canadian governments.

Nebraska court ruling could mean further Keystone XL delays: official

WASHINGTON - The Obama administration says a court decision has forced it to examine whether the Keystone XL pipeline process might have to be delayed once again. A senior official said Friday that numerous lawyers were examining the ruling handed down earlier this week in Nebraska for its possible impact. "I know that lots of lawyers are looking at what the implications of it may be on our process. Nebraska has its own process that it has to go through," said Roberta Jacobson, the assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere Affairs.
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