A bipartisan majority of the U.S. Senate is urging the President to approve the Keystone Pipeline Project to move forward,, following more studies and reports.
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. The $7 billion project would carry oil from Canada to refineries along the Texas Gulf Coast
What are the Senators saying?
"There is no reason to deny or further delay this long-studied project," said the letter, which was initiated by Sens. 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.
"No more excuses. It's time to put people to work," Baucus said.
"Back home, we call this a no-brainer," added Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.
Hoeven, of North Dakota, said the tar sands oil will be produced whether or not the U.S. approves the project. "Our choice is, the oil comes to us or it's going to China," he said.
The Secretary of State designee, John Kerry has also spoken on the issue and taken actions.
Meanwhile, Secretary of State nominee John Kerry said he plans to divest holdings in dozens of companies in his family's vast financial portfolio to avoid conflicts of interest if he is confirmed by the Senate.
Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat, said he would not take part in any decisions that could affect the companies he has holdings in until those investments are sold off. Among the investments are holdings in two Canadian companies, Suncor and Cenovus Energy Inc., both of which have publicly supported the Keystone XL pipeline. Kerry's investments are in family trusts.