LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Senate’s top Republican said Friday he asked President-elect Donald Trump to move swiftly in approving construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which has drawn strong opposition from environmentalists.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky told reporters he made the request during his meeting with Trump a day earlier.

“That’s the kind of thing that I hope he’ll be looking at, and we’re helping him look at – things that he can do quickly on his own,” McConnell said. “Because much of what President Obama did that slowed our economy he did on his own, either executive orders or regulations.”

“So one of the ways to get this economy growing again, I think, is to deal with regulatory changes,” he added.

Trump touted the stalled Keystone project during a late October campaign swing through Florida, saying: “We’re going to approve energy infrastructure projects like the Keystone pipeline and many more.” He listed the project among his priorities for the first 100 days of his administration, saying it could provide “a lot of jobs, a lot of good things.”

McConnell said he’s confident the new Trump presidency will “get off to a good start.”

Obama rejected the proposed Keystone XL pipeline last November, declaring it would have undercut U.S. efforts to clinch a global climate change deal at the center of his environmental legacy. The 1,700-mile pipeline would carry oil from tar sands in Alberta, Canada, to refineries in the Houston area, passing through Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma.

The $7 billion pipeline has been a contentious issue. Project supporters, including unions and lawmakers from both parties, tout the jobs it would create and demand its approval, while environmentalists urged the president to reject it, saying it would carry dirty, carbon-intensive oil.

Obama’s decision marked an unambiguous victory for environmental activists who spent years denouncing the pipeline, lobbying the administration and even chaining themselves to tractors to make their point about the threat posed by dirty fossil fuels. It also placed the president and fellow Democrats in direct confrontation with Republicans and energy advocates heading into the 2016 presidential election.

The prospect of an all-Republican government next year boosts the chances for Keystone.

McConnell said Republican leaders are still sorting out priorities for next year, adding: “The American people expect us to pursue the agenda that we talked about, and I’m confident that’s what we’re going to do.”