Senators Urge Approval of Keystone Pipeline

A bipartisan group of senators is asking President Obama for a meeting about the proposed Keystone XL oil sands pipeline that the lawmakers want the White House to approve.

The letter from 18 senators, led by Sens. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and Max Baucus (D-Mont.), announced via press release Friday calls for “setting politics aside” and urges Obama to back the project.

It states:

Nothing has changed about the thousands of jobs that Keystone XL will create. Nothing has changed about the energy security to be gained through an important addition to the existing pipeline network built with sound environmental stewardship and the best modern technology. Nothing has changed about the security to be gained from using more fuel produced at home and by a close and stable ally. And nothing has changed about the need for America to remain a place where businesses can still build things.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) also signed the letter. It requests a meeting with Obama in the “near future.” The White House did not comment.

The Nov. 16 letter signals that TransCanada Corp.’s proposed pipeline, which would transport Canadian oil sands to Gulf Coast refineries, will remain a priority for proponents and foes alike.

The pipeline, in addition to transporting Canadian oil, is slated to carry oil from the booming Bakken formation in North Dakota and Montana. It would also traverse Montana.

“The election is over, people want us to work together to create jobs, and one sure way we can create jobs right now is by moving forward with construction on the Keystone XL pipeline,” Baucus said in a statement.

Hoeven said moving ahead with the pipeline would be a “big step toward American energy independence.”