The State Department said Wednesday that it has rejected a request from TransCanada to "pause" its review of the Keystone XL pipeline.

The Canadian company asked State this week to pause the review while it explores whether it can win approval from the state of Nebraska for the portion of the pipeline in that state. But spokesman John Kirby said State faced no legal requirement to pause the review, and would continue it.

"We have communicated our decision to continue our review, we have communicated that to TransCanada in writing today," Kirby said.

"We're not required to pause it based on an applicant's request, there's no legal basis to do that," he added. "There's no legal requirement to do that."

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