A Nebraska court's Friday ruling permitting construction of the Keystone XL pipeline along its proposed route will not immediately lead to the White House committing to a time frame for the project.

“Our posture and our position hasn’t changed,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz told reporters aboard Air Force One on Friday. “This is a process that is still underway at the State Department. I don’t have any updates for you.”


The administration had cited the pending Nebraska litigation as one reason why the State Department could not complete its review of the controversial construction project. But with the question of the route settled, pressure will intensify on State to finish its work.

In March of last year, the department announced its review found the pipeline would not increase greenhouse-gas emissions and have only a limited environmental impact along its route. But the department still must make a final determination on whether the pipeline is in the “national interest.”

Once that decision is reached, the State Department will send the project to Obama’s desk for final approval.

“As you know, it is undergoing rigorous review and we’re going to wait for that review to be completed before the president makes any decisions,” Schultz said Friday, adding that he did not have an update on how quickly the State Department planned to move.

The White House did repeat its veto threat of legislation that would greenlight the project. The House was expected to approve a bill Friday, and the Senate was scheduled to begin considering it next week.

"The president believes the process should unfold at the State Department,” Schultz said.