Eight of 18 Democrats challenging for a Senate seat have taken a strong stance on the Keystone XL oil pipeline project, according to a survey by The Hill
. That’s a sharp contrast from President Barack Obama, who has weighed in on both sides of the energy issue.
Of the eight Democratic Senate hopefuls who have expressed a view, The Hill reports that three support the pipeline: Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Shelley Berkley of Nevada, and Joe Donnelly of Indiana.
Five oppose it: Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, Chris Murphy of Connecticut, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Susan Bysiewicz of Connecticut, and Pete Ashdown of Utah.
Obama has said he won’t make a final decision on the project until federal regulators complete a thorough review. In January, Obama denied a cross-border permit for the pipeline, intended to transport oil sands crude from Alberta, Canada, to refineries on the Gulf Coast, angering Republicans and some moderate Democrats. But later he said his decision was based merely on a 60-day, GOP-backed deadline, not on the project’s merits.
Republican Senate candidates have turned the pipeline into a potent political issue. And that has forced their Democratic opponents to take a stand whether they want to or not, according to The Hill. Massachusetts GOP Sen. Scott Brown has made hay attacking his likely opponent Elizabeth Warren for opposing the project.
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