Earlier media reports on Friday regarding the delay were confirmed later in the day in a statement issued by the State Department. The early reporting said the decision could be pushed back until after November midterm elections, though the Department statement does not indicate a timeline.
The final report from the State Department on TransCanada's pipeline had been expected in May, but the Department is allowing for more time for input from federal agencies as well as for review of the "unprecedented number of new public comments" — roughly 2.5 million —received before the public comment period ended.
The State Department cited "uncertainty created by the on-going litigation in the Nebraska Supreme Court which could ultimately affect the pipeline route in that state." In February, a local judge struck down a law that allowed for the tar sands pipeline to pass through the state, garnering cheers from Keystone foes and putting into question the pipeline route.