The White House declined to comment on the latest Keystone gambit, but Obama threatened to veto a previous effort, in 2012, to attach approval of the project to a transportation bill.
The pipeline project has long been at a vexing crossroads of energy policy and politics that confronts Democrats.
The 1,179-mile project is proposed to go from Canada through Montana and South Dakota to Nebraska, where it would connect with existing pipelines to carry more than 800,000 barrels of crude oil a day to refineries along the Gulf Coast.
Advocates say it will create thousands of jobs and aid energy independence, but environmentalists warn of possible spills and say transporting oil will eventually contribute to global warming.
The State Department said in a Jan. 31 report that building the pipeline would not significantly boost carbon emissions because the oil was likely to find its way to market by other means. It added that transporting it by rail or truck would cause greater environmental problems than if the Keystone XL pipeline were built.
The administration unexpectedly ordered another delay in its decision earlier this month, citing a judge’s ruling in Nebraska that overturned a state law permitting the pipeline to traverse the state.
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