Republican senators urge approval of Keystone XL Pipeline

Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Susan M. Collins (R-Maine) were among 44 Republican U.S. Senators urging President Barack Obama to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline in a letter sent Friday.

The Keystone Pipeline is an oil pipeline that traverses parts of the U.S. and Canada. The fourth phase, between Hardisty, Alberta, and Steele City, Nebraska, is still awaiting approval by the U.S. government.

Since the original application in 2008, the letter notes, the U.S. Department of State has reviewed hundreds of thousands of comments and completed five environmental impact statements, all of which have found the pipeline will have no significant impact on the environment. 

“The federal process is complete and has been complete for a long time,” the Senators added. “The states should have the primary role of determining the proper legal and regulatory procedures for siting the pipeline within their respective borders. The federal government should move forward with its determination.”

The Senators sent the letter on the sixth anniversary of TransCanada filing the original application for a presidential permit to build the pipeline. The Obama administration has refused to approve the energy project.