The campaign in support of a new pipeline connecting secure sources of energy in Canada to consumers in the United States got a huge boost this week. Members of Congress from Florida to Utah co-signed a letter to the State Department urging the agency to approve the final permitting documents for the Keystone Gulf Coast Expansion.

The project, supported in full by Consumer Energy Alliance and its network of more than 165 affiliates, is projected to generate more than $20 billion in total economic impact and create more than 13,000 high-wage construction and manufacturing jobs.

"Every single agency that has looked at this pipeline has concluded it can be built safely, and with minimal impact on the environment," said Michael Whatley, vice president of CEA. "With the Keystone XL, we're talking about a project that's expected to create more than 13,000 new jobs, and help transport more than 1.1 million barrels a day of secure Canadian energy to U.S. businesses and consumers at an otherwise very difficult time for our economy. Now is the time to convert that enormous potential into real-world reality, and we couldn't be happier to see so many lawmakers lining up to lend a hand to the effort."

In the letter to Secretary Clinton organized by U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.), the lawmakers note that pipelines are among "the safest, most efficient and economical way to transport" these resources into the United States, while also acknowledging Canada's commitment "to develop this vast resource in the most environmentally responsible manner possible." According to government estimates, per-barrel greenhouse gas emissions associated with oil sands development have been reduced by an average of 33 percent over the past two decades, with some facilities achieving reductions of 45 percent.

American access to an additional 1.1 million barrels of secure, affordable energy from Canada would provide immediate benefits to sectors of the economy most heavily dependent on reliable sources of fuel. "The trucking industry depends upon a plentiful supply of diesel fuel to deliver virtually all consumer goods," said Richard Moskowitz, vice president and regulatory affairs counsel for the American Trucking Associations and chairman of the CEA board. "This pipeline is critically important to our goal of bolstering U.S. energy security, and its construction will be a source of much needed jobs at a critically important time."

A copy of the lawmakers' letter can be accessed here. Additional information on the Keystone pipeline project can be accessed on TransCanada's website, or at