7/24 @ 11:30 AM ET | Speaker Boehner Press Conference - WATCH LIVE HERE

Republican members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, led by Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA), sent a letter to President Obama yesterday calling for approval of the Keystone pipeline to support the creation of thousands of new jobs and enhance America’s access to secure North American energy.  Following are excerpts from the letter:

“Keystone XL would create an estimated 20,000 new jobs directly…at a time when millions of hard-pressed Americans remain unable to find work. …

“Keystone XL would also advance our national security. By providing secure access to petroleum from Canada, we would reduce our reliance on energy imports from countries in the OPEC cartel. The U.S. would be less vulnerable to political and security-related disruptions of our energy supply. …

“Our economy can no longer be put on hold while the bureaucratic process you set in motion jeopardizes this critical project. You can guarantee Americans the jobs they deserve, and prevent our national security from being undermined, with a simple stroke of the pen. We urge you to do so now.”

The Keystone pipeline has been under review by the Obama administration for more than 1600 days, the House Energy & Commerce Committee notes, long enough to fly to the moon and back 179 times.   In the weeks since Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman notified the administration that all obstacles to the construction of the pipeline had been resolved, Republicans and Democrats alike have been urging the president to put the political calculus aside and approve the pipeline – and the 20,000 “new, real U.S. jobs” that come with it.  “With our energy security at stake and many jobs in limbo,” says Speaker Boehner, the president “should find a way to say yes” to Keystone.

Click HERE for the full text of the letter.