Bipartisan group of senators requests meeting with Obama on Keystone XL pipeline

“Setting politics aside: Nothing has changed about the thousands of jobs that Keystone XL will create,” the letter stated. “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."

ADVERTISEMENT
Hoeven reiterated the message that the United States should work toward energy independence in a statement he released Friday.

“The Keystone XL pipeline represents not only thousands of jobs and growth for the nation’s economy, but also a big step toward American energy independence,” Hoeven said. “We can become energy independent in America within five to seven years, but we must commit to moving forward with important projects like the Keystone XL pipeline.”

In the letter, lawmakers brought up Obama’s directive from the spring, which allowed agencies to start work in Nebraska. The senators said the Nebraska work is nearly complete with its construction of its portion of the pipeline, and when it’s done, Obama should issue a permit so the rest of construction can start. The pipeline, in addition to transporting Canadian oil, is slated to carry oil from the booming Bakken formation in North Dakota and Montana.

“The state of Nebraska is nearing completion of the new pipeline route within Nebraska,” the letter stated. “With that process near completion, we look forward to an affirmative determination of national interest soon.

“We then urge you to issue a Presidential Permit immediately afterward.”

Baucus said the project was environmentally sounds and shouldn’t raise concerns.

“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 Friday. “We’ve spent more than four years producing studies and addressing environmental and property concerns — there’s no excuse to keep Keystone jobs on hold any longer.”

Congress tried to force the president’s hand by mandating that he make a decision on the pipeline before the election, but Obama said more research was needed to determine the safety of the pipeline. Some speculated that Obama was waiting to make a decision on the pipeline until after the election to ensure he didn’t upset environmentalists in his base.

Sens. John BarrassoJohn BarrassoGOP senator: Obama ‘believes he is above the law’ Republican senator expects Trump will 'embrace' GOP platform Sunday shows preview: Bernie soldiers on MORE (R-Wyo.), Mark BegichMark BegichSenate GOP deeply concerned over Trump effect Ex-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm Unable to ban Internet gambling, lawmakers try for moratorium MORE (D-Alaska), Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), Kay HaganKay Hagan10 Senate seats most likely to flip in 2016 Senate Republicans are feeling the 'Trump effect' Washington's lobby firms riding high MORE (D-N.C.), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), Mike JohannsMike JohannsTo buy a Swiss company, ChemChina must pass through Washington Republican senator vows to block nominees over ObamaCare co-ops Revisiting insurance regulatory reform in a post-crisis world MORE (R-Neb.), Mary LandrieuMary Landrieu oil is changing the world and Washington Ex-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm Republican announces bid for Vitter’s seat MORE (D-La.), Dick Lugar (R-Ind.), Joe ManchinJoe ManchinOvernight Finance: Trump threatens NAFTA withdrawal | Senate poised for crucial Puerto Rico vote | Ryan calls for UK trade deal | Senate Dems block Zika funding deal Overnight Energy: Volkswagen reaches .7B settlement over emissions Senators rally for coal miner pension fix MORE (D-W.Va.), Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellDems leery of Planned Parenthood cuts spark Senate scuffle Overnight Finance: Senate sends Puerto Rico bill to Obama | Treasury, lawmakers to meet on tax rules | Obama hits Trump on NAFTA | Fed approves most banks' capital plans Senate passes Puerto Rico debt relief bill MORE (R-Ky.), Lisa MurkowskiLisa MurkowskiSenators seek state revenue sharing for offshore drilling Senate panel approves 0M for international climate fund GOP senator praises Supreme Court's abortion ruling MORE (R-Alaska), Rob PortmanRob PortmanOvernight Finance: Trump threatens NAFTA withdrawal | Senate poised for crucial Puerto Rico vote | Ryan calls for UK trade deal | Senate Dems block Zika funding deal Overnight Energy: Volkswagen reaches .7B settlement over emissions Senators rally for coal miner pension fix MORE (R-Ohio), Mark PryorMark PryorEx-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm Top Democrats are no advocates for DC statehood Ex-Sen. Landrieu joins law and lobby firm MORE (D-Ark.), Jon TesterJon TesterBernie Sanders’s awkward return to the Senate Senators roll out bipartisan gun proposal Congress should stop government hacking and protect the Fourth Amendment MORE (D-Mont.), David VitterDavid VitterFed chairwoman blasts Trump on debt Senate campaign posts private conversation on Facebook Rand Paul endorses in La. Senate race MORE (R-La.) and Jim Webb (D-Va.) also signed the letter.

This article was updated at 3:40 p.m.

More in Energy & Environment

Senate sends pipeline safety bill to Obama

Read more »