AUGUSTA — Maine Republican Rep. Bruce Poliquin is urging President Barack Obama to approve the Keystone XL pipeline.

In a letter to the president, Poliquin says that the pipeline will help “fuel our economy and create more jobs” by boosting the production and transportation of American and Canadian oil.

First proposed in 2008, the pipeline if approved would connect Canada’s tar sands to Gulf Coast refineries.

Congressional leaders formally enrolled the bill approving the pipeline on Friday, but planned to wait to send it to the president until after their weeklong recess. Obama has threatened to veto it.

Poliquin also again encouraged Obama to approve expedited permitting to expand natural gas pipeline infrastructure.

He stressed that Maine desperately needs more pipeline capacity, noting that the recent closure of several paper mills was caused in part by the high cost of energy.

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