UPDATE 3-US State Department delays Keystone pipeline decision

Tue Jan 22, 2013 5:30pm EST
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* State Dept will not decide on project before end of March

* Nebraska approves TransCanada's new path

* Environmentalists oppose project for its carbon emissions

* TransCanada says southern leg of project on schedule

By Timothy Gardner and Andrew Quinn

WASHINGTON, Jan 22 (Reuters) - The Obama administration has delayed a decision on TransCanada Corp's rerouted Keystone XL oil pipeline until after March, even though Nebraska's governor on Tuesday approved a plan for part of the line running through his state.

"We don't anticipate being able to conclude our own review before the end of the first quarter of this year," said Victoria Nuland, a spokeswoman at the State Department, which had previously said it would make a decision by that deadline.

She said the department would take into consideration approval of the line by Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman.

Interest in The fate of the $5.3 billion pipeline that would link Canada's oil sands to refineries in Texas has been heightened after President Barack Obama promised to fight climate change.   Continued...