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From the Conference

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Following TransCanada's announcement today that the company has reapplied for federal approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, U.S. Senator John Thune (R-S.D.), Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, again called on the Obama Administration to end its obstruction of the Keystone XL pipeline. President Barack Obama formally rejected TransCanada's permit request on January 18, 2012, for the Keystone XL pipeline, a $7 billion project expected to create over 20,000 direct American jobs.

"After President Obama caved to political pressure from liberal special interest groups and blocked the Keystone XL pipeline earlier this year, I'm encouraged that TransCanada has resubmitted their application for a federal permit to begin construction on the full project," said Thune. "Now that TransCanada has rerouted the pipeline around the Nebraska Sandhills, the president is running out of excuses for delaying this job-creating, domestic energy-producing project. The president must now decide between job creation and energy production or political expediency. Democrats and Republicans alike have expressed strong support for this project, and I am calling on President Obama to drop his veto threat of a highway bill reauthorization that would approve the Keystone XL pipeline."

Since President Obama took office in January of 2009, gasoline prices have more than doubled from $1.85 per gallon to $3.80 per gallon.

TransCanada has moved forward on construction of the southern portion of the pipeline, which does not need the State Department's approval, but is unable to begin construction on the remaining 70 percent of the project until it receives approval from the State Department as the project crosses an international border.

South Dakota's economy would directly benefit from the pipeline. Keystone XL is expected to produce increased personal income of $319 million and create hundreds of construction jobs in South Dakota. Further, it is estimated that once the pipeline is operational, South Dakota counties and local governments could receive over $600 million in additional property tax revenue during the operating life of the pipeline. A similar pipeline already extends from Canada to the U.S. and the Keystone XL pipeline is already the most exhaustively reviewed pipeline in the nation's history.