White House: Obama might approve Keystone

White House: Obama might approve Keystone
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The White House on Tuesday left the door open to approving the Keystone XL pipeline, saying the "possibility still does exist" that President Obama could sign off on the contentious project.

The comment comes as Obama is set to veto Republican-backed legislation that would approve the $8 billion oil sands project on Tuesday.  

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The administration's main point of contention with the bill is that it circumvents the ongoing process at the State Department, which is nearing the end.

“It certainly is possible, the president will keep an open mind as the State Department considers the wide range of impacts that this pipeline could have on the country, both positive and negative," Earnest said when asked if Obama could approve the pipeline once the department review wraps up. 

Despite Tuesday's comments from the White House, Obama's most recent evaluations of the pipeline have been harsh.

In December, Obama said the pipeline was "not even going to be a nominal benefit to U.S. consumers."

Earnest said the administration would not delay a final decision after the State Department wraps up its review. 

"I would anticipate once the review has been completed that there would not be a significant delay in announcing the results of that review and ultimately making a decision on this project."