By Ben Geman - 11/16/12 08:49 PM EST
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 McConnellMitch McConnellMcConnell-allied group says it'll back Rubio if he runs Puerto Rico debt relief faces serious challenges in Senate Overnight Healthcare: Momentum on mental health? | Zika bills head to conference | Only 10 ObamaCare co-ops left MORE (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.
Environmentalists are staging a demonstration at the White House on Sunday urging Obama to reject the project, which has played a starring role in political battles over energy and climate policy over the past year.
The pipeline has been politically thorny terrain for Obama, who in late 2011 punted a decision on the project until after the 2012 elections. A final determination is expected in early 2013.
Environmental groups bitterly oppose the project due to greenhouse gas emissions from extracting and burning oil sands, forest damage from the massive projects in Alberta, and fears of spills along the route.
But the project has strong support from business groups, and many unions, which like green groups are a key part of Obama’s political base.
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.”
The other senators that signed the letter are:
Sens. John BarrassoJohn BarrassoOvernight Healthcare: House loosens pesticide rules to fight Zika | A GOP bill that keeps some of ObamaCare | More proof of pending premium hikes GOP senator: Obama used Zika money for climate fund Member of Senate GOP leadership to lead platform committee MORE (R-Wyo.), Mark BegichMark BegichEx-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm Unable to ban Internet gambling, lawmakers try for moratorium Dem ex-lawmakers defend Schumer on Iran 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 ManchinSenators to Obama: Make 'timely' call on Afghan troops levels Dem senator: Sanders ‘doesn’t have a lot of answers’ Groups urge Senate to oppose defense language on for-profit colleges MORE (D-W.Va.), Lisa MurkowskiLisa MurkowskiSenators float bipartisan wildfire bill Overnight Energy: Lawmakers closing in on chemical safety deal GOP chair pushes Obama official on Arctic drilling plan MORE (R-Alaska), Rob PortmanRob PortmanJuan Williams: Electoral map looks grim for Trump McConnell touts 'Senate squad' in Wes Anderson-style video Liberal super-PAC hits Johnson for supporting Trump 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 TesterWasserman Schultz fights to keep her job It's time we empower veterans with entrepreneurial skills Dem introduces bill to block new government hacking powers MORE (D-Mont.), David VitterDavid VitterOvernight Energy: Trump outlines 'America First' energy plan in North Dakota Paul blocks chemical safety bill in Senate House Republican pushes bill to 'curb regulatory overreach' MORE (R-La.) and Jim Webb (D-Va.).