The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because the report is not yet public, say it could be ready for release within days and will bolster the case for the controversial energy project.
One source in Washington warns, however, that there won’t be any “high-fiving and tasting champagne” at the Canadian embassy just yet, given how prone the Keystone XL project has been to lengthy delays.
The report is the second environmental impact statement on the $7-billion TransCanada project to come from the State Department, which has jurisdiction because the pipeline crosses an international boundary.
The first, released last March, concluded the project would not significantly impact the rate of oilsands development or crude oil demand, nor would it pose any greater risk to the environment than other modes of transportation.
Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver says he expects the forthcoming report to draw the same conclusions as the last one.
Once that occurs, the U.S. administration will conduct a 90-day review to determine if the project is in the national interest.