Senators ready to fight for Keystone XL

A bipartisan group of senators met separately on Wednesday with top Canadian officials to push for a speedy approval of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) met with Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird and Gary Doer, ambassador to the U.S., to promote the TransCanada pipeline.

ADVERTISEMENT
"I keep telling the president that this is really important for the manufacturing renaissance and economic security," Landrieu told reporters.

Landrieu, who is slated to become the chairwoman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, wouldn't speculate on how her new chairmanship would influence the Senate's actions regarding the controversial pipeline.

"I'm not going to speculate what is going to happen in a couple of weeks," Landrieu said.

"My record on this issue is clear and is not going to be changed by the fact that I become chair of Energy."

Landrieu said she thinks Obama has delayed his decision due to the highly anticipated State Department environmental review and hopes that following its release, he will come to a quick decision.

Baird said he anticipates that the State Department's environmental impact statement will come shortly after the president's State of the Union address on Jan. 28.

North Dakota Sens. John Hoeven (R) and Heidi Heitkamp (D) also individually met with the two Canadian officials on Wednesday to voice their support for a strong energy relationship with Canada and approval of Keystone XL.

Hoeven said he might even attach the oil-sands pipeline to a must-pass bill, like the debt ceiling legislation.