In a surprise move, TransCanada Corporation has asked the U.S. government to temporarily suspend its application to approve the controversial Keystone XL pipeline.
The request adds a new wrinkle to one of the biggest Canada-U.S. political irritants of recent years, involving a pipeline from Alberta to Texas.
The request comes in a letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. It asks the American administration to delay its decision on a border-crossing permit, pending an ongoing dispute in Nebraska over the route.
Suspending the application for Keystone XL could spare the company a potential rejection from U.S. President Barack Obama. It could also punt the issue beyond the 2016 U.S. election, making it a campaign issue and placing the file in the hands of a future administration.