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Keystone XL a national security issue, GOP says

Feb. 12, 2014 at 6:45 AM

WASHINGTON, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- Getting the Keystone XL oil pipeline built from Canada will protect the U.S. economy from market volatility overseas, U.S. senators told the president.

U.S. Sens. John Hoeven, R-N.D., Bob Corker, R-Tenn., led party members in writing President Obama to express frustration with the approval process for Keystone XL. They say it's been six years since Canadian energy company TransCanada asked for federal approval and consent is a matter of national security.

"The pipeline will allow U.S. access to 800,000 barrels of Canadian oil daily from a stable and dependable economic partner, which helps us to diversify our supply and offset our dependence on the Middle East and other more volatile oil producing countries," they said in a letter published Tuesday.

A report published last week by the Center for a New American Security, a Washington think tank, said, in general, the glut of North American crude oil won't insulate regional markets "from instability in the global energy market."

A January report from the U.S. State Department, which said its report is not a decision document, said there would be few environmental dangers from the pipeline. Obama said he'd weigh the project against its environmental footprint.

Keystone XL needs a federal permit because it would cross the U.S. border with Canada. The Gulf Coast project, viewed as the U.S. leg of the pipeline, went into service last month.

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