Kerry says hopes for Keystone oil pipeline announcement soon

WASHINGTON Fri Feb 8, 2013 3:18pm EST

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WASHINGTON Feb 8 (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said he hopes his department will be able to make a decision on the Keystone XL oil pipeline soon.

Approval of the pipeline, which would link Canada's oil-sands petroleum to refineries and ports in Texas, has been pending for four and a half years. Environmentalists oppose the pipeline because oil sands are carbon intensive to produce. Backers of the project, which would transport 830,000 barrels of oil per day, say it would provide thousands of jobs and increase U.S. energy security.

"We hope that we will be able to be in a position to make an announcement in the near term," Kerry told reporters after meeting with Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird.

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