Republican Senators Urge Obama To Move On Keystone XL Pipeline

Republican Senators Urge Obama To Move On Keystone XL Pipeline


WASHINGTON, Jan 24 (Reuters) - All 45 Republican U.S. Senators urged President Barack Obama on Friday to end delays and approve the northern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline that would connect Canada's tar sands with refiners at the Gulf of Mexico.

The letter was timed ahead of the president's annual State of the Union speech on Tuesday, although it is unknown if Obama will make a reference to Keystone.

"Given the length of time your administration has studied the Keystone XL pipeline and the public's overwhelming support for it, you should not further delay a decision to issue a Presidential permit," the senators wrote to Obama in an effort led by John Hoeven of North Dakota and John Barrasso of Wyoming.

First proposed in 2008, TransCanada Corp's pipeline is currently awaiting a final environmental impact statement (EIS) from the U.S. State Department, which is involved in the process because the pipeline crosses a national border.

That report was thought likely to have been released in late 2013, although there was no firm deadline. The impact statement will trigger several more steps on the path to an approval or rejection of Keystone.

"We, therefore, request that you issue the final EIS and Presidential permit approving the pipeline as soon as possible and tell us when we can expect your decision," the senators wrote.

The lawmakers noted that Obama told Senate Republicans in March that a decision on Keystone would be made before the end of 2013.

"We are well into 2014 and you still have not made a decision," they said.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said he was unaware of the conversation with the president that the senators cited, and he noted that the State Department was driving the process.

The 1,200 mile (1,930-km) pipeline would carry some 830,000 barrels a day from the Alberta tar sands to the U.S. Gulf Coast. The southern leg of the pipeline, from the Gulf to a storage hub in Cushing, Oklahoma, started operations this week.

"We need a safe and efficient system to transport crude oil in this country. The Keystone XL pipeline is a vital piece of the puzzle," the senators wrote.

Secretary of State John Kerry on Jan. 17 offered no timetable for a decision on Keystone, but said he hoped an analysis of the thousands of public comments on its environmental impact would be done "soon."

Copyright 2016 Thomson Reuters. Click for Restrictions.


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Jon J | Jan. 29, 2014
The crude that is being transported is being drilled by companies based here in the U.S. Although Canada does receive royalty compensation, but it will still be good for U.S. exporting when it becomes allowed.

Philippe | Jan. 27, 2014
Obama has made his specialty of doing the opposite of his public declaration. His political fringe is not for the Keystone pipeline. This is his fringe, the 30% left all hardily supporters. Politically speaking, more the Republicans push the Keystone, better it is for the Republican mid-term election. That is the only positive at this time that can be said. It is obvious that if the US sees a “Boom” in the O&G, it has nothing to do with Obama, as a matter fact Obama will try to derail this “Boom” any way he can. Keystone is one, not last, aspect of Obama mantra.

Steve g | Jan. 27, 2014
the pipeline is a safer alternative to the rails and the deepwater drilling in GoM the crude is a less damaging option than the shale gas/oil fracking (shallow) that is going on in the north east US. the "celebrity" opponents to the pipeline would rather have conflict oil or turn a blind eye to the terrorist funding from mid east oil that have a made in NA solution.

Jill Floto | Jan. 27, 2014
This ia a very biased point of view. The "general" public does not approve of this pipeline because of the of dangers involved in the transportation of this nasty crude. There are more down-sides to this "proposition", and our efforts should be directed in developing our own oil and gas. Let Canada refine their own nasty crude and sell it from their borders. They wont and that is one of the questions you should be asking and explaining to the "general" public.


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