Senators request facetime with Obama on Keystone pipeline

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 McConnellThough flawed, complex Medicaid block grants have fighting chance Sanders: 'If you don't have the guts to face your constituents,' you shouldn't be in Congress McConnell: Trump's speech should be 'tweet free' 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 BarrassoBig Pharma must address high drug prices A guide to the committees: Senate Making transportation public-private partnerships available in rural America MORE (R-Wyo.), Mark BegichMark BegichThe future of the Arctic 2016’s battle for the Senate: A shifting map Trump campaign left out of Alaska voter guide MORE (D-Alaska), Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), Kay HaganKay HaganLinking repatriation to job creation Former Sen. Kay Hagan in ICU after being rushed to hospital GOP senator floats retiring over gridlock 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 LandrieuFive unanswered questions after Trump's upset victory Pavlich: O’Keefe a true journalist Trump’s implosion could cost GOP in Louisiana Senate race MORE (D-La.), Dick Lugar (R-Ind.), Joe ManchinJoe ManchinGreens launch ads against two GOP senators for Pruitt votes Poll: Senate should confirm Gorsuch A guide to the committees: Senate MORE (D-W.Va.), Lisa MurkowskiLisa MurkowskiGOP governors confront Medicaid divide GOP senator won't vote to defund Planned Parenthood A guide to the committees: Senate MORE (R-Alaska), Rob PortmanRob PortmanConquering Trump returns to conservative summit ­ObamaCare fix hinges on Medicaid clash in Senate A guide to the committees: Senate MORE (R-Ohio), Mark PryorMark PryorCotton pitches anti-Democrat message to SC delegation Ex-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm Top Democrats are no advocates for DC statehood MORE (D-Ark.), Jon TesterJon TesterPoll: Senate should confirm Gorsuch A guide to the committees: Senate GOP loses top Senate contenders MORE (D-Mont.), David VitterDavid VitterMercury brings on former Sen. Vitter, two others Lobbying World Bottom Line MORE (R-La.) and Jim Webb (D-Va.).