A bipartisan group of senators on Friday urged President Barack Obama to quickly issue a permit for the northern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline, a project environmental groups have vowed to keep fighting.
The senators—nine Democrats and nine Republicans—asked Obama to approve the pipeline because it will create jobs and reduce the need for oil from the Middle East. They were led by Max Baucus, a Montana Democrat and powerful chair of the Senate Finance Committee, and John Hoeven, a North Dakota Republican. Both senators represent the booming Bakken oil region.
The pipeline is designed to carry oil from Canada and the Bakken formation and last year, Obama put it on hold citing environmental concerns with a portion of the route in Nebraska. The TransCanada Corp project needs a presidential permit because it would cross an international border.