XL Pipeline Update

Billings, MT – Mont. OKs Keystone but federal approval uncertain

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) Montana's Democratic Governor and state officials have approved a planned $7 billion oil pipeline from Canada that still needs federal backing before it can move forward.

Governor Brian Schweitzer said Thursday that TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline would boost state tax revenues and provide for almost 5 percent of America's oil needs.

The Obama administration last month said it was postponing a decision on the pipeline until after next year's election.

Officials said the delay is needed to study routes that avoid environmentally sensitive areas of Nebraska. Republicans in Congress are trying to speed up a decision by linking approval to a measure renewing a payroll tax cut.

The 1,700-mile pipeline would carry oil from western Canada to refineries in Texas, passing through Oklahoma's Cushing pipeline hub.