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Hoeven, Senate GOP send letter to Obama on Keystone XL

DICKINSON, N.D. -- All 45 Republican senators, led by North Dakota’s John Hoeven, signed a letter sent to President Barack Obama on Friday that encourages the president to approve the Keystone XL pipeline project.

The letter comes ahead of Tuesday’s State of the Union address.

Hoeven, a staunch advocate for completion of the controversial pipeline, reiterated Friday his belief that the time for a thumb’s up or down on the project is overdue. Because the 1,700-mile pipeline would cross an international border with Canada, the project needs State Department approval.

The GOP senators say the pipeline will provide about 40,000 jobs and enhance the nation’s options when it comes to moving oil, which have been under a microscope since last month’s train derailment near Casselton.

Hoeven said he would welcome Obama spending time talking about the Keystone XL during Tuesday’s address.

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., in a meeting Friday with The Dickinson Press’ editorial board, reiterated her support for Keystone XL project as well.

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