An unusual coalition of lawmakers from both parties, labor and business leaders, veterans groups and Canada's ambassador to the United States joined forces Tuesday to push for quick approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.
Five Democrats joined Republicans at a Capitol news conference to urge President Barack Obama to approve the pipeline following a State Department report last week that raised no major environmental objections. The $7 billion pipeline would carry oil from tar sands in western Canada to refineries along the Texas Gulf Coast. The project has lingered for more than five years and has become a symbol of the political debate over climate change.
Canadian Ambassador Gary Doer also spoke at the news conference, along with labor union officials and a retired Navy admiral. A top oil industry lobbyist attended the event but did not speak.
Environmental groups that oppose the pipeline have been making a lot of "noise," Doer said, but polls show most Americans remain in favor of the project. Pipeline opponents, including many Democratic lawmakers, say the pipeline would carry heavy oil that contributes to global warming. They also worry about a spill.