WASHINGTON – Twenty-one state attorneys general, including West Virginia’s Patrick Morrisey, have submitted a petition asking U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to expand the Keystone Pipeline oil project.

The attorneys general asked Kerry to recommend a permit for the expansion of the project, which would transport oil from Canada to refineries in the Gulf of Mexico region of the U.S. The State Department is now reviewing an application for a presidential permit for Keystone XL, an expansion of the current Keystone Pipeline.

“The project, when approved, will bolster the nation’s economy, modernize the country’s energy infrastructure, and strengthen our national security," the attorneys general said in their petition.

"The pipeline will significantly serve our national energy needs by providing primary transportation for the development of Canadian oil reserves. It will also facilitate the safe transport of oil from the burgeoning Bakken oil field in North Dakota and Montana.

“Each attribute will add to the country’s energy independence and to the economy of the entire midsection of this nation.”

According to the authors, 36 percent of the oil imported by the U.S. comes from politically unstable countries that may or do have anti-American or anti-democratic agendas.

The attorneys general also said the expansion would create jobs and increase the sales of American services and goods.

“Whereas, approval of Keystone would thus reduce dependence on oil imports from suppliers who are inherently unstable, shield our country from threats to its security, and assure and sustain America’s economic recovery; We the undersigned American Attorneys General, petition John F. Kerry, United States Secretary of State, to move expeditiously to recommend approval of the Keystone XL pipeline project, which has been seeking a presidential permit since 2008," the petition concludes.

Other state attorneys general included in the petition were from from Alabama, Virginia, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Montana, Louisiana, Utah, South Carolina, Ohio, Michigan, Kansas, Indiana, Georgia, Colorado, Alaska, Missouri, Idaho, Florida, Arizona and North Dakota.

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