POLITICS

State Dept won't expedite new Keystone application

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke

TransCanada plans to file a second application to begin building Keystone pipeline by 2014, but the company might have to wait even longer, as the State Department says it will have to undergo "a completely new review process."

"If TransCanada comes in with a new application, it will trigger a new review process, a completely new review process," Assistant Secretary Kerri-Ann Jones told reporters yesterday. "We cannot state that anything would be expedited or – at this time." The Keystone XL pipeline has already undergone three years of review.

Jones was responding to a TransCanada statement that they "will re-apply for a Presidential Permit and expect a new application would be processed in an expedited manner to allow for an in-service date of late 2014."

When reminded that certain regulations permit the use of information from prior applications, Jones said that it was "a little bit hard to comment on a permit application that hasn’t been submitted yet, and so we haven’t seen it." She did allow that "the body of information that was out there would inform a new application, but there are certain specific guidelines that have to be used." 

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, asked today when a permit might be issued to TransCanada for the Keystone pipeline, said that he "would would refer [reporters] to the State Department about what -- what kind of timeframe would be required to review a new permit request that would establish an alternate route through Nebraska."

Assistant Secretary Jones said yesterday that she "can’t really speak to a defined timeline or anything else, because there’s no application, and it really is much too speculative."

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