U.S. senators boast of Keystone XL benefits

Nov. 7, 2013 at 7:19 AM

SIDNEY, Mont., Nov. 7 (UPI) -- Building the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada would build on a strong bilateral trade relationship, senators from Montana and North Dakota said.

Sens. John Hoeven, R-N.D., and Max Baucus, D-Mont., met in Montana with a Canadian delegation on an energy-related trade mission to the United States.

"We need to continue to build our trade relationship and to work on projects that are mutually beneficial," Hoeven said in a statement. "In that regard, the energy industry presents a huge opportunity, and the Keystone XL pipeline project is emblematic of that opportunity."

Hoeven said his state imported more than $3 billion worth of Canadian goods last year. Baucus, for his part, said more than 23,000 jobs in his state depend on trade with Canada.

Keystone XL was proposed by pipeline company TransCanada more than five years ago. The project needs federal approval as a cross-border pipeline.

"After five years of studies and red tape, it's well past time to put Americans to work building the Keystone pipeline," Baucus said.

President Obama said he'd weigh the project against its environmental footprint. If built, the pipeline would run through Montana but not North Dakota.

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