Bipartisan leaders from Northern Plains states joined the oil industry in calling for approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline for national security's sake.
Pipeline company TransCanada submitted a permit for U.S. federal approval for the proposed 1,179-mile pipeline from Canada south into the United States more than five years ago. The permit is needed because the pipeline would cross the U.S.-Canadian border.
U.S. Sens. John Hoeven, R-N.D., Joe Manchin, D-N.D., and Rep. Lee Terry, R-Neb., joined the American Petroleum Institute in calling for approval of the pipeline for the sake of U.S. economic and national security.
Hoeven said in a statement part of the turmoil in Eastern Europe is tied to the region's dependence on Russia for energy supplies. More energy from North American reserves would help prevent a similar crisis at home.
"The bottom line is energy security is national security," he said Wednesday.
For Jack Gerard, president of API, the time for review is over.
"Let’s move forward, put Americans to work, and build the infrastructure that will strengthen our energy security," he said.
A U.S. State Department review of the pipeline said it would have few net environmental drawbacks. Critics of the project say much of its oil would be designated for exports from southern U.S. refineries.