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Begich Continues Work on Oil and Gas Development, Joins Bipartisan Group to Press Secretary Kerry on Keystone XL

Says Jobs, Economic Benefits Cannot Ignored

U.S. Sen. Mark Begich continued his call for swift approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, urging newly confirmed Secretary of State John Kerry to move forward with the process.  Begich today joined a bipartisan group of 17 Senators in citing the economic importance and job creating capacity of the Keystone XL pipeline in a letter to Secretary Kerry.

The Hoeven-Baucus letter was signed by Senators Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Mark Begich (D-Alaska), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Kay Hagan (D- N.C.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), David Vitter (R-La.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.).

The full text of the letter is included below.
 

--

The Honorable John Kerry

Secretary of State

Department of State

Washington, DC 20520

Dear Secretary Kerry:

            As you begin your tenure as Secretary of State, we urge you to make the timely approval of the Keystone XL pipeline one of your top priorities.  We believe that you and the President should remain committed to reaching a decision within the first quarter of this year. 

            The State Department received the new route approved by the state of Nebraska on January 22, 2013, but the Department has yet to inform the public and stakeholders of a definitive process for the final decision.  We urge you as Secretary of State to ensure that this decision process be completed promptly.

            As you noted in your recent discussions with the Canadian Foreign Minister, John Baird, we have an important energy relationship with Canada.  The Keystone XL pipeline will supply both energy from our closest friend and partner and create jobs in the United States.  Further delay will continue to hurt job creation and may damage our relationship with Canada. We cannot afford more delay.

  Thank you for your consideration.

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