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Support growing for Keystone XL

March 25, 2013 at 8:01 AM

WASHINGTON, March 25 (UPI) -- A U.S. Senate vote in support of the Keystone XL pipeline sends a strong message to President Barack Obama, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce president said.

U.S. Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., received bipartisan support in the Senate for a budget amendment that supports the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

The U.S. State Department published a draft assessment of the project March 1. It said the project would have few overall environmental effects but noted the rise of rail transport of crude oil when considering the pipeline's benefits.

"The U.S. Chamber applauds a bipartisan majority of the Senate for sending a strong message to President Obama that the Keystone XL pipeline is in America's national interest," Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue said.

Hoeven said the vote is indicative of the Senate's support for the pipeline. Keystone XL needs Obama's approval because of crosses the Canadian-U.S. border.

Business and trade groups have expressed support for the pipeline, which would deliver Canadian crude oil to southern U.S. refineries.

Pipeline opponent Bold Nebraska said it was planning state demonstrations against the project. It says many of the expected benefits from the project are overstated.

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