The U.S. State Department said it has delayed its decision on the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline and will examine alternate routes that would avoid environmentally sensitive areas in Nebraska, the Associated Press reported.
Calgary-based TransCanada seeks to build the 1,700-mile pipeline to connect oil sands in Canada to refineries on the Gulf Coast. The pipeline would run from Canada through Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.
President Obama said the pipeline could affect the environment and the health and safety of the American people, AP said.
“We should take the time to ensure that all questions are properly addressed and all the potential impacts are properly understood,” Obama said in a statement, AP reported.
Last month, an American Trucking Associations official told the State Department the pipeline would provide a stable and secure source of energy for the U.S. and its trucking industry and its construction should be approved.