As the public comment period for the State Department’s review of the Keystone XL pipeline ends Friday, the American Petroleum Institute’s senior manager of downstream operations, Cindy Schild, urged President Barack Obama to approve the project forthwith.

“The time for study is over,” Schild said Thursday. “The Obama administration has all the evidence it needs to support the pipeline without delay.”

The API, with more than 580 members, represents the oil and gas industry, and collected about half a million public comments from its side of the issue to deliver to the State Department.

Schild said she thinks the process for public consultation has been fair and ample, and the only unfortunate part of the process has been the time it’s taken to complete.

“The time has lagged on a bit, but as far as the process, it’s certainly been transparent,” she said.

The western Canadian oil sands will be developed whether or not the pipeline is built, which several top officials, including Environmental Protection Agency chief Gina McCarthy, have acknowledged, Schild said. Oil and gas will continue to fuel 90 percent of the nation’s transportation needs for the next 25 years, according to API.

“And pipelines have long been considered one of the safest ways to transport crude,” she added.

Schild also said people concerned about climate change should support the pipeline.

“When you think about where [oil production and transport] will be managed better, when you think about some of the Asian countries ... by all measures, you’re certainly looking at a project that passes the administration’s own climate test,” she asserted.