On April 18, 2014 the State Department extended the length of time the eight federal agencies have to submit their views on the Keystone Pipeline permit application. Since the pipeline crosses an international boundary, the State Department ultimately decides whether or not the permit will be approved but seeks input from other federal agencies.
The State Department announced more time is needed to review the unprecedented number (2.7 million) of public comments received. An ongoing Nebraska Supreme court case was also noted in the provision of more time because the ultimate route of the pipeline may change as a result of the hearing.
Supporters of the Keystone pipeline have leveled criticism of the delay, noting the pipeline owner and all parties involved would miss another warm weather construction season to get started. Meanwhile, a week long protest is taking place at the United States Capitol drawing celebrities, ranchers, farmers, and leaders of several Native American tribes who oppose the pipeline.