Oklahoma U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas and Senators Jim Inhofe and James Lankford were among 44 members of Congress who are urging the White House to take action to approve construction of the stalled Keystone XL pipeline.
In a letter sent to President Trump, Lucas, Inhofe and the others urged him to “take any appropriate action necessary to move construction forward.” They also encouraged the President to meet the orders outlined by a federal court in a November ruling.
“While we sincerely appreciate your strong leadership on this issue, we write now to encourage that leadership and attention to continue so that this important infrastructure project can become a reality,” said the letter.
The project was halted by a federal judge in Montana who ruled in favor of a lawsuit filed by environmental groups.
“We respectfully urge you to take every practicable step to get this project over the finish line and workers back on the construction sites,” the group wrote.
The members of congress contend the pipeline will bring nearly 6,600 high paying jobs in the near-term and nearly $4 billion in new capital investment next year. They say the judge’s ruling has left 700 jobs in the balance.
“While we believe that it is important to conduct appropriate environmental reviews, we also believe that further review will not contribute to the existing body of science that already supports pipeline construction and instead will have a significant impact on our rural communities,” added the Representatives and Senators.
Signatories of the letter include Energy and Natural Resources Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Environment and Public Works Chairman John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), both of whom will remain leaders of the committees with oversight jurisdiction of the environmental review issues in the next Congress.
Sen. Inhofe is the ranking Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee in the Senate. Joining him in signing the letter was the Committee chairman, Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming, another Republican. Another of those signing the letter was Sen. Lisa Murkowski, the chairwoman of the Energy and Natural Resources committee.