By Zack Colman - 02/26/13 06:03 PM EST
The department has said it would complete its analysis by March 31 at the earliest.
The resulting report would inform President Obama’s decision on whether to let Keystone go forward. The administration has final say because the pipeline crosses national borders.
The senators pressed Kerry and Obama to, “remain committed to reaching a decision within the first quarter of this year.” A majority of the Senate supports the project, saying it would provide thousands of jobs.
Green groups hope Kerry, who already has used his new Foggy Bottom perch to talk about climate change, will score Keystone’s environmental impact negatively.
They also have pressured Obama to scrap the project, most recently through a Washington, D.C., rally that drew tens of thousands of protesters.
But with Obama’s upcoming ruling come many considerations — one of which is rapport with Canada, to which the senators alluded.
In recent weeks, Canadian officials have escalated their Keystone lobbying efforts within the United States.
Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird met with Kerry earlier this month to discuss a range of topics, including Keystone.
And provincial officials from Alberta — home to the oil sands field Keystone would tap — pressed their case at last weekend’s National Governors Association summit in Washington.
Other letter signatories include: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellMcConnell pressuring Rubio to run again McConnell: Holder ‘one of the worst’ attorneys general ever McConnell: Trump ‘will not change the Republican Party’ MORE (R-Ky.) and Sens. 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), John BarrassoJohn BarrassoRepublican senator expects Trump will 'embrace' GOP platform Sunday shows preview: Bernie soldiers on Overnight Healthcare: House loosens pesticide rules to fight Zika | A GOP bill that keeps some of ObamaCare | More proof of pending premium hikes MORE (R-Wyo.), Joe DonnellyJoe DonnellySenators to Obama: Make 'timely' call on Afghan troops levels This week: GOP lawmakers reckon with Trump Democrats block energy spending bill over Iran amendment MORE (D-Ind.), John BoozmanJohn BoozmanOvernight Tech: House GOP launches probe into phone, internet subsidies Overnight Tech: Trade groups press NC on bathroom law GOP senators: Obama bathroom guidance is 'not appropriate' MORE (R-Ark.), 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.), John CornynJohn CornynClinton email headache is about to get worse Overnight Tech: House GOP launches probe into phone, internet subsidies Senators hope for deal soon on mental health bill MORE (R-Texas), Heidi HeitkampHeidi HeitkampThe Hill's 12:30 Report House Dems urge Senate panel to vote on Ex-Im Bank nominee Senate Dems frustrated over lack of action on Ex-Im Bank nominee MORE (D-N.D.), Orrin HatchOrrin HatchSenate contradicts itself on Gitmo Ten senators ask FCC to delay box plan An affordable housing solution both parties can get behind MORE (R-Utah), 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.), Lisa MurkowskiLisa MurkowskiConservation program at center of energy bill fight Senators float bipartisan wildfire bill Overnight Energy: Lawmakers closing in on chemical safety deal MORE (R-Alaska), 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.), Rob PortmanRob PortmanPortman focuses on heroin fight in new ads Juan Williams: Electoral map looks grim for Trump McConnell touts 'Senate squad' in Wes Anderson-style video 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.), Jeff SessionsJeff SessionsGOP senator to Ryan: 'Trump is where the Republicans are’ Rankings: Trump’s top 10 VP picks Senate fight brews over Afghan visas MORE (R-Ala.), Jon TesterJon TesterSanders tests Wasserman Schultz Wasserman Schultz fights to keep her job It's time we empower veterans with entrepreneurial skills 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 Mark WarnerMark WarnerNo time to relax: A digital security commission for the next generation Army posthumously awards female veteran who served as WWII spy The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (D-Va.).