WASHINGTON Senate supporters of the long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline have introduced legislation authorizing its immediate construction and say they expect the measure will come to a vote in the coming days.
The legislation was introduced by Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Republican Sen. John Hoeven of North Dakota.
In a statement, they said it has the support of all 45 Senate Republicans and 10 Democrats.
The legislation is the latest response in Congress to the Obama administration's recent announcement that it was delaying a decision on the pipeline indefinitely, citing a Nebraska court case relating to the project.
Senator Joe Donnelly announced on Thursday his support for the bipartisan legislation, which would approve the pipeline without requiring a permit from President Obama.
“I’m supporting this bipartisan bill because it would enable Congress to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, ending the long delay," Sen. Donnelly explained. "This legislation is simple: If Congress passes legislation to green-light the Keystone XL pipeline, this project will move ahead. I have long been a strong supporter of constructing the Keystone XL pipeline and will continue to push for its approval because of its potential to create jobs and improve our energy and national security.”
The House has voted previously to approve construction of the pipeline, which would carry oil from Canada to the United States, where it eventually would reach Gulf Coast states.