State Dept says no arbitrary deadlines can be set for Keystone

Mon Dec 12, 2011 4:52pm EST

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department said on Monday that any effort by Congress to impose a deadline on the Canada-to-Texas Keystone XL pipeline decision would effectively rule out a permit for the project.

"Should Congress impose an arbitrary deadline for the permit decision ... the Department would be unable to make a determination to issue a permit for this project," the Department said in a statement.

Republicans in the House of Representatives have said they plan to include approval of the TransCanada Corp's Keystone XL in a payroll tax cut bill.

(Reporting By Andrew Quinn)