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 McConnellPeter Thiel does not make the GOP pro-gay Reid: Trump is a 'hateful con man' McAuliffe: Clinton won't move TPP without changes 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 BarrassoGoonies, Pokemon and ‘transsexual shake’ speak to raucous scene at convention GOP passes rules vote over outcry from Trump opponents Overnight Healthcare: Feds defend ObamaCare's affordability 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 HaganDemocratic National Convention event calendar 10 Senate seats most likely to flip in 2016 Senate Republicans are feeling the 'Trump effect' 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 LandrieuBrazile’s new role? Clean up DNC mess oil is changing the world and Washington Ex-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm MORE (D-La.), Dick Lugar (R-Ind.), Joe ManchinJoe ManchinChristian voters left wanting in Trump vs Clinton New Guccifer 2.0 dump highlights ‘wobbly Dems’ on Iran deal Senate Dems introduce Iran sanctions extension MORE (D-W.Va.), Lisa MurkowskiLisa MurkowskiBig Oil makes a push for risky and reckless Arctic drilling GOP divided over 0M for climate fund Overnight Energy: House passes first Interior, EPA spending bill in seven years MORE (R-Alaska), Rob PortmanRob PortmanDemocrats: We can win on guns The Trail 2016: One large crack in the glass ceiling Portman secures another union endorsement over Democratic challenger in Ohio 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 TesterSenate Dems push Obama for more Iran transparency Bayh jumps into Indiana Senate race Six senators call on housing regulator to let Congress finish housing finance reform MORE (D-Mont.), David VitterDavid VitterTim Kaine backs call to boost funding for Israeli missile defense David Duke will bank on racial tensions in Louisiana Senate bid Former KKK leader David Duke running for Senate MORE (R-La.) and Jim Webb (D-Va.).