More than 165 business leaders have signed a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to approve the Keystone XL pipeline.
Developer TransCanada wants to build a 1,179-mile transcontinental pipeline to carry oil from Canada and North Dakota to refineries in the Houston area, but the project needs a presidential permit since it crosses the U.S.-Canada border.
The Obama administration has not decided yet whether to allow the $7 billion project to proceed, although TransCanada is nearing completion of the southern leg of the pipeline from Cushing to the Gulf of Mexico.
Oklahoma CEOs John Richels of Devon Energy Corp. and Alan Armstrong of the Williams Cos. Inc. are part of the group supporting for Keystone XL. The group also includes Moore native Randall Stephenson, of AT&T, and Nicholas Atkins, of American Electric Power, the parent company of Tulsa-based Public Service Co. of Oklahoma.
“Though we represent a diverse group of industries, we share a common belief in the importance of this project to the broader American economy,” the executives wrote. “We are at an inflection point in our economic recovery. Whether economic growth will remain modest or pick up speed will depend on maintaining investor confidence and strengthening America's competitiveness.
“The decision on Keystone XL will affect both.”
TransCanada noted a State Department review of the project indicated it would create more than 40,000 U.S. jobs.