TransCanada (TRP) spent more than $1M last year to lobby U.S. legislators and the Obama administration to build the Keystone XL pipeline, ~24% more than it spent in 2012.
TRP's chief Washington lobbyist, Paul Elliott, is a former top campaign aide to Hillary Clinton, who served as Sec. of State in Pres. Obama's first term.
The State Department is conducting an environmental analysts of Keystone and will determine whether the project is in the U.S. national interest before a final decision by Obama.
Meanwhile, Total (TOT) CEO Christophe de Margerie is urging the U.S. to approve the pipeline to unplug a bottleneck that's stalling the development of Canadian oil sands.