Despite GOP Stand: TransCanada suspends its US permit on Keystone Pipeline

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US President Barack Obama winks as he tells a joke about his place of birth during the White House Correspondents Association Dinner in Washington, DC, April 28, 2012. The annual event, which brings together US President Barack Obama, Hollywood celebrities, news media personalities and Washington correspondents, features comedian Jimmy Kimmel as the host. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB        (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages)

US President Barack Obama winks as he tells a joke about his place of birth during the White House Correspondents Association Dinner in Washington, DC, April 28, 2012. The annual event, which brings together US President Barack Obama, Hollywood celebrities, news media personalities and Washington correspondents, features comedian Jimmy Kimmel as the host. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages)

TORONTO – The company behind the controversial Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to the U.S Gulf Coast has asked the U.S. State Department to pause its review of the project. a big blow to the Republican Party.

TransCanada said Monday a suspension would be appropriate while it works with Nebraska authorities for approval of its preferred route through the state. The move comes before the Obama administration was widely expected to reject it.

For seven years, the fate of the 1,179-mile (1,900 kilometre) long pipeline has languished amid debates over climate change, the intensive process of extracting Alberta’s oil and U.S. energy security

The pipeline has long been a flashpoint in the U.S. debate over climate change. Critics oppose the concept of tapping the Alberta oil sands, saying it requires huge amounts of energy and water, increases greenhouse gas emissions.

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