Policy: Environment & Energy

White House seeks more Cabinet input on Keystone XL pipeline

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After the State Department issued a report concluding the Keystone XL pipeline would not significantly worsen greenhouse gas emissions, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said that the White House wanted other departments to weigh in before the president would make a decision on whether to approve the controversial project.

The president wants to "insulate this process from politics," McDonough said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press."

"We have one department with a study. Now we have other expert agencies, the EPA and many others, the Energy Department, who have an opportunity to look at this and make their determination," the White House Chief of Staff said.

Stopping short of laying out a timeline for the ultimate presidential decision on approving the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, McDonough said that the White House will "hear from other Cabinet secretaries" before the process is concluded.

"The president wants to ... make this decision based on the best analysis and the most sound science," he said. "If this is to go forward, it should not significantly exacerbate the climate crisis in this country."

On Friday, the State Department released a much-anticipated report that concluded the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline would not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution. The report said that the extraction of oil from the Canadian province of Alberta would continue at a similar pace, and be transported by other means instead.

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