Senators lead bipartisan call for Keystone XL approval

US Sens. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and John Hoeven (R-ND) led a new bipartisan Senate effort to meet with US President Barack Obama to discuss prompt approval of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline project. Eight other Democrats and seven other Republicans signed the Nov. 16 letter to the president.

“With the elections of 2012 behind us, we write to remind you of the continuing importance of the Keystone XL Pipeline,” the 17 senators said. “We want to work together to keep creating jobs, and Keystone XL is one vital piece of the puzzle. We would like to meet with you in the near future to discuss this important project.”

They urged Obama to follow through on his Mar. 22 directive to federal agencies to move forward construction of vital energy infrastructure such as Keystone XL. Nebraska has nearly finished consideration of a proposed new route for the project across the state, they noted.

“With that process near completion, we look forward to an affirmative determination of national interest soon,” the letter said. “We then urge you to issue a presidential permit immediately afterward.”

Other senators who signed the letter in addition to Baucus, who chairs the Finance Committee, and Hoeven, who is a member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, included Ranking Minority Member Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND), Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), and Jon Tester (D-Mont.).

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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