Kerry tells ‘Canadian friends’ all efforts are put into giving swift answer on Keystone

US Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday he would like to give his “friends in Canada” a prompt answer on TransCanada’s (TSX, NYSE: TRP) Keystone but added environmental studies on the pipeline’s impacts are not finished yet.

“Decisions like this must be made according to our administrative processes,having our national interest in mind,” he said in response to a question from a Canadian Press reporter.

He added all the “appropriate efforts” are being done to conclude the process effectively and rapidly. Then, looking at Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, added: "He understands that."

Kerry addressed the press together with Canada’s Baird and Mexico’s Foreign Secretary Jose Antonio Meade this morning in Washington.

However, Baird gave no indication he understood or accepted the ongoing delays.

“Obviously, we want a decision soon,” he said, adding that it has been 26 months since Hillary Clinton, Kerry’s predecessor, called him to urge changes to the Keystone XL route to protect aquifers in the US.

The three politicians were set to discuss "North American prosperity, North America’s leadership on energy and climate change, international engagement, and citizen security," according to a statement released Monday.

While the politicians did not disclose whether the proposed pipeline extension came up in their talks, it seems inevitable it was one of the main topics, especially following Baird’s comments Thursday. The Canadian authority said yesterday it was time for a decision on the pipeline, "even if it's not the right one."

“I can promise our friends in Canada that all of the appropriate effort is being put into trying to get this done effectively and rapidly and my hope is that before long (the EIS) will be available,” Kerry said, adding: “Then my work begins.”

The project has been in limbo for several years awaiting approval by the U.S. State Department. Some advocates fear another delay with the US mid-term elections approaching.

TransCanada’s pipeline would carry 700,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta and the US Bakken across six states to refineries in the Texas Gulf Coast.

Image by US Mission Geneva, via Flickr.