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North Dakota's delegation: Keystone XL report shows no need to delay pipeline

North Dakota's congressional delegation urged President Barack Obama to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline after the State Department released its final environmental impact statement today.

"The U.S. State Department's final EIS released today is a step forward in that it poses no reason for President Obama to deny approval of the Keystone XL pipeline project," Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., said in a statement. "Although not explicit, this finding is consistent with four previous findings that affirm the need to begin construction without delay."

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., said the report recognizes that whether or not the pipeline is built, the Canadian oil sands will be developed.

"The question is, will Canada move it to the U.S. to be refined, or somewhere else across the globe? We have the opportunity to make sure it comes to the U.S., where it would boost domestic energy production by bringing in oil from our greatest trading partner and friend, and continue to move us toward North American energy security and independence - a goal we all want to achieve," Heitkamp said.

Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., also urged Obama to approve the project immediately.

"It should be as abundantly clear to the President as it is to me and the overwhelming majority of Americans that pipelines are the safest and most efficient way to move oil to market, and this country needs the thousands of jobs Keystone would provide," Cramer said.

The Keystone XL would transport oil from Alberta to Texas. The route does not go through North Dakota, but feeder lines to the main pipeline could transport Bakken crude.