Hoeven Again Meets with Canadian Foreign Minister, Ambassador to Continue Effort to Approve Keystone XL Pipeline

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven this week met with Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird and Canadian Ambassador Gary Doer to continue the effort to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. The Canadian leaders were in Washington this week to muster the votes necessary to approve the project congressionally.

Hoeven this week rallied all 45 Republicans and 12 Democrats to support his legislation to approve the Keystone XL pipeline project congressionally, which leaves the measure three votes shy of the 60 necessary to overcome Majority Leader Harry Reid’s filibuster of the bill.

Earlier in the week, Reid used a procedural maneuver to deny debate and amendments to a bipartisan energy efficiency bill, including an amendment to approve the Keystone XL project. Also blocked was an amendment Hoeven cosponsored with Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia that is vital to North Dakota because it prevents the EPA from imposing costly CO2 regulations on power plants, raising costs dramatically for America’s businesses and families.

As majority leader, Reid can bring up both the energy efficiency bill and a binding vote to approve the Keystone XL project at any time chooses.

“Senator Reid opposes the Keystone XL pipeline, and it’s also clear that President Obama intends to defeat the project with endless delays,” Hoeven said. “I believe, however, that if we don’t manage to approve it this year, we’ll gain the few votes necessary to pass it after the November elections.”

In January, the State Department released its final environmental impact statement (EIS) for the project, which found no significant environmental impact. Then last month, the administration announced that it will delay indefinitely the period federal agencies have to comment on the Keystone XL pipeline project, and almost certainly postpone a decision on the project until after the November election.

Recent polling by three separate firms confirmed that two-thirds of the American people support the Keystone XL pipeline project and believe it will benefit the nation.

Hoeven has already passed Keystone XL legislation. In 2011, the senator authored and Congress passed legislation requiring the President to issue a decision on the project within 60 days. In response, the President cited environmental concerns in Nebraska in delaying the project, and he denied approval. The Keystone XL project is now in its sixth year of delay.

The senator has been working to support the project both as governor of North Dakota and now as a U.S. Senator. He has since led the Senate effort to approve the Keystone XL pipeline.