Wicker & Cochran Press President to Approve Keystone Pipeline

53 Senators Assert “There is No Reason to Deny or Further Delay This Long-Studied Project”

January 25, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss) are among a large bipartisan group of Senators who are strongly encouraging President Obama to approve the development of the Keystone XL pipeline.

Cochran and Wicker are among 53 Senators who signed a letter to President Obama that outlines reasons the energy project should be advanced following the approval of the proposed pipeline route through Nebraska.  The pipeline from Canada to the Texas Gulf Coast was thrown into limbo last January when the President halted the permit process.

“This pipeline project will entail greater energy security, job creation and economic activity for our nation and it should finally be allowed to move forward.  The project has already been delayed far too long,” Cochran said.

“Many Americans understand the economic importance of moving forward with the Keystone pipeline and what that means for job creation and energy security in the United States,” said Wicker.  “It is imperative that we continue to press the Administration to approve this critical project.”

Developed by Senators John Hoeven (R-Neb.) and Max Baucus (D-Mont.), the letter to the President asserts that the concerns the administration cited in suspending the permit process last January have been successfully addressed.  It asks the President to direct the U.S. Department of State to complete the National Interest Determination process and issue a final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement within the next three months.

“Because the pipeline has gone through the most exhaustive environmental scrutiny of any pipeline in the history of this country, and you already determined that oil from Canada is in the national interest, there is no reason to deny or further delay this long-studied project,” the letter states.

“We ask you not to move the goalposts as opponents of this project have pressed you to do. We urge you to choose jobs, economic development and American energy security.  It is vital for the country that you promptly finalize the SEIS and the National Interest Determination and approve the pipeline,” the Senators wrote.

The proposed pipeline would transport more than 700,000 barrels of oil per day from Canada and the U.S. Bakken region to U.S. refineries on the Gulf Coast in Texas.  Tens of thousands of American jobs are projected to be created to build the 1,800-mile pipeline that will cost an estimated $7 billion.  The Keystone XL pipeline remains the nation’s largest ready infrastructure project.

          In addition to the Mississippi Senators, the letter was signed by Hoeven (R-N.D.), Baucus (D-Mont.), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), Dan Coats (R-Ind.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), James Risch (R-Idaho), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), and David Vitter (R-La.), and Mark Warner (D-Va.).

A PDF copy of the signed letter is available here.