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Senators Pressure Obama on Keystone XL Approval

Nebraska Governor Gives Approval

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By Swagato Chakravorty
Friday, January 25th, 2013

After Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman signified his approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline project, 53 senators have decided to appeal to President Obama, sending off a letter urging swift approval of the controversial pipeline project.

USA Today provides an excerpt:

"We urge you to choose jobs, economic development and American energy security," the letter said, adding that the pipeline "has gone through the most exhaustive environmental scrutiny of any pipeline" in U.S. history.

If completed, TransCanada's (TSX: TRP) pipeline would deliver oil from Canada to refineries located along the Texan Gulf coast. 44 Republicans and 9 Democrats put their signatures on this letter.

In the past, the $7 billion Keystone XL project was nixed twice by the Obama administration, first in 2011 over environmental concerns about its proposed route and then in January last year after the President declared that he had not determined whether to go ahead with the project.

This Tuesday, the State Department announced that it had not completed its review of the situation and that it would not be done with it until late March.

It’s interesting that this new pressure tactic emerged just after the President’s inaugural speech, where he placed specific emphasis on the importance of paying heed to global warming.

That’s one of the major reasons the Keystone project is so controversial—the heat-intensive process involved in harvesting heavy oil from Canada’s tar sands strikes up fears of pollution.

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