Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) believes the conflict in Syria could increase the odds that the Keystone XL pipeline will be approved.
“I believe it does,” he told The Dickinson Press in an interview.
“Right now, we’re determining how to respond in the Middle East, specifically Syria, and it shows, with the volatile situation there, how important it is that we can produce our own energy in North America and not have to get it from the Middle East,” Hoeven, a vocal pipeline backer, told the North Dakota paper Thursday.
Syria isn’t a major oil producer. But the civil war there and the prospect of U.S. strikes has riled oil markets over concerns of a widening conflict in the oil-rich region.
Hoeven is pushing for a vote on a resolution that would express approval of Keystone, the pipeline that would bring oil from Canadian oil sands projects across the border en route to Gulf Coast refineries.
It would also carry oil from the booming Bakken region in North Dakota. The pipeline is under Obama administration review.