Kerry promises Keystone XL decision in ‘near term’

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State John Kerry promises a “fair and transparent” review of a Canadian company’s plan to pipe oil from western Canada to refineries in Texas.

In his first comments about the controversial Keystone XL pipeline since becoming secretary of state last week, Kerry said Friday he is waiting for a review begun by his predecessor, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and hopes to make a decision in the “near term.” The State Department has jurisdiction over the $7 billion pipeline because it crosses an international border.

Kerry praised Canada as a close ally and the largest energy supplier to the U.S. He didn’t comment on the pipeline plan’s merits. He discussed the issue Friday in a meeting with Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird.

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