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 McConnellRubio: GOP Congress could go in different direction than Trump Pelosi blasts GOP leaders for silence on Trump Reid: Groping accusations show Trump’s ‘sickness’ MORE (R-Ky.) and Sens. Mark BegichMark BegichTrump campaign left out of Alaska voter guide Ryan's victory trumps justice reform opponents There is great responsibility being in the minority MORE (D-Alaska), John BarrassoJohn BarrassoGOP senators avoid Trump questions on rigged election Black ties and french fries mingle at DC's Meridian Ball GOP seeks to block ObamaCare settlements with insurers MORE (R-Wyo.), Joe DonnellyJoe DonnellyGreat Lakes senators seek boost for maritime system Liberal groups urge Schumer to reject Bayh for Banking gavel A dozen senators call for crackdown on Chinese steel MORE (D-Ind.), John BoozmanJohn BoozmanGOP senators avoid Trump questions on rigged election In denouncing Trump's misogyny, Republicans show their sexism A dozen senators call for crackdown on Chinese steel MORE (R-Ark.), Kay HaganKay HaganPhoto finish predicted for Trump, Clinton in North Carolina Are Senate Republicans facing an election wipeout? Clinton's lead in NC elevates Senate race MORE (D-N.C.), John CornynJohn CornynReport: Investor visa program mainly funds wealthy areas GOP senators avoid Trump questions on rigged election Conservatives backing Trump keep focus on Supreme Court MORE (R-Texas), Heidi HeitkampHeidi HeitkampMoney for nothing: Rethinking CO2 Liberal groups urge Schumer to reject Bayh for Banking gavel Court ruling could be game changer for Dems in Nevada MORE (D-N.D.), Orrin HatchOrrin HatchGOP lawmakers ask IRS to explain M wasted on unusable email system GOP senators avoid Trump questions on rigged election Schumer says Pacific trade pact may have enough votes to pass the Senate MORE (R-Utah), Mary LandrieuMary LandrieuTrump’s implosion could cost GOP in Louisiana Senate race Louisiana needs Caroline Fayard as its new senator La. Senate contender books seven-figure ad buy MORE (D-La.), Lisa MurkowskiLisa MurkowskiWriting in Mike Pence won’t do any good in these states GOP senators avoid Trump questions on rigged election Trump campaign left out of Alaska voter guide MORE (R-Alaska), Joe ManchinJoe ManchinTrump questions hound endangered Republican Dems to McConnell: Pass 'clean' extension of Iran sanctions Convicted ex-coal boss says he’s a ‘political prisoner’ MORE (D-W.Va.), Rob PortmanRob PortmanRepublican opposition to raising the minimum wage Is crumbling Trump: 'Very disappointed' GOP senator dropped support GOP senator: I'd consider Clinton Supreme Court pick 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.), Jeff SessionsJeff SessionsMcCain: Accepting election results is 'American way' GOP senators avoid Trump questions on rigged election Some in GOP say Trump has gone too far MORE (R-Ala.), Jon TesterJon TesterCourt ruling could be game changer for Dems in Nevada Election-year politics: Senate Dems shun GOP vulnerables Democrats press Wells Fargo CEO for more answers on scandal MORE (D-Mont.), David VitterDavid VitterDavid Duke gets debate slot in La. Senate race GOP senators avoid Trump questions on rigged election Trump’s implosion could cost GOP in Louisiana Senate race MORE (R-La.) and Mark WarnerMark WarnerPolicymakers face long road to financial technology regulation Liberal groups urge Schumer to reject Bayh for Banking gavel Why Yahoo's breach could turn the SEC into a cybersecurity tiger MORE (D-Va.).