WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today called on President Obama to approve the Keystone XL pipeline project expeditiously now that Nebraska has given the green light to an alternative route for the project through the state. Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman today notified the Obama Administration that he has approved the pipeline, saying its new route will avoid the environmentally sensitive Sand Hills region of the state.
In November, Hoeven and Senator Max Baucus of Montana organized a bipartisan letter signed by 18 senators, nine Republicans and nine Democrats, calling on the president to approve the project once Nebraska’s concerns were addressed. They also asked to meet with the president to discuss the project, but to date there has been no response from the White House and only a low level acknowledgment of the letter from the State Department.
“The president has long-cited Nebraska’s concerns as a reason not to approve the project, but now that those concerns have been addressed, there is no reason to further delay a project that will create thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in economic activity for the United States,” Hoeven said. “After more than four-and-a half-years and an exhaustive review process, it’s time to come together, Republicans and Democrats, and do what is clearly in our national interest.”
Hoeven said he is now making preparations to reintroduce his legislation enabling Congress to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline if the president doesn’t. Hoeven introduced the legislation last year and got 56 votes in a bipartisan effort to approve the pipeline project under Congress’s authority enumerated in the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.