Read this Associated Press story on the Nebraska Senate's decision this week to approve and alternate route for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. (Jan. 23, 2013)
WASHINGTON - More than half the Senate on Wednesday urged quick approval of TransCanada's controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline, ramping up pressure on President Barack Obama just days after he promised in his inaugural address to respond vigorously to the threat of climate change.
A letter signed by 53 senators said Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman's approval of a revised route through his state puts the long-delayed project squarely in the president's hands.
"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.
"There is no reason to deny or further delay this long-studied project," said the letter, which was initiated by Senators John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and signed by 44 Republicans and nine Democrats. Another Democrat, Jon Tester of Montana, supports the pipeline but did not sign the letter.
Calgary-based TransCanada is seeking approval for a $5.3-billion pipeline that would carry crude from Alberta's oilsands and U.S. shale formations to Steele City, Neb.