File - In the is Oct. 4, 2012 file photo, large sections of pipe are shown on a neighboring property to Julia Trigg Crawford family farm, in Sumner Texas. On Wednesday, Jan 22, 2014, TransCanada said in a statement on its website that it is delivering oil through the Gulf Coast portion of its proposed Keystone XL pipeline, from a hub in Cushing, Okla., to Houston-area refineries. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, file)
Greg Mantell, Cox Washington Bureau
Oklahoma lawmakers are demanding President Barack Obama approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline after a favorable environmental study by the U.S. State Department.
Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Oklahoma, is one of 45 Republican senators who signed a letter to Obama insisting that the pipeline move forward.
Inhofe said added another bipartisan letter will go out this week."This is a job killer and everybody knows it," Inhofe said. "But he’s beholden to far left environmentalists— moveon.org, George Soros, Michael Moore, Hollywood elites — that crap."
Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-Oklahoma, said he expects the House will send a similar letter.
Environmental groups held a nationwide candlelight vigil Monday night, protesting the pipeline project.
The pipeline would transport toxic tar sands oil and threatens to "wreak environmental havoc," according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.Inhofe and Bridenstine say the jobs the pipeline creates would be good for Oklahoma.
Bridenstine predicted Obama will face heavy pressure to approve the pipeline during the election year.
"We're going into a midterm election, and the president has Democrats that need this to pass," Bridenstine said.
Inhofe said he think there is a chance Obama won’t approve the pipeline since he isn’t up for election and wants to keep key supporters happy.White House spokesman Jay Carney said the State Department report is just one step in the process of deciding whether to approve the project and that Obama intends to let that process play out.
No decision is expected before 90 days, Carney said.