Washington, D.C. - Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, issued the statement below following the Obama Administration's decision to extend the government comment period for the Keystone XL pipeline.

Senator Boxer said: "Given the unprecedented number of comments from the public on the Keystone XL pipeline proposal, and the legal uncertainties due to lawsuits in Nebraska, the State Department was entirely correct to delay a decision on the pipeline.

"I was pleased to learn today that Secretary Kerry has agreed to take into account the public health impacts of the tar sands oil when he considers whether the pipeline is in the national interest. But I still do not have a clear cut answer on whether there will be a separate health impacts study, which is clearly in the public interest. I reminded the State Department today that joining the call for an independent health impacts study are National Nurses United, the American Public Health Association, and the National Association of County and City Health Officials."