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(Reuters) - The latest delay to a final decision on the Keystone XL oil pipeline will reinforce a White House strategy to energize President Barack Obama's liberal-leaning base before fall elections in which Democrats risk losing control of the U.S. Senate.
Environmentalists, worried about the project's effect on climate change, have put enormous pressure on the president to reject the pipeline from Canada's oil sands, staging demonstrations outside the White House and protests in states where he travels.
A decision to approve it now could have prompted that vocal group, which was instrumental in electing Obama in 2008 and 2012, to sit out the November 4 congressional elections.
Many Democrats are vulnerable to attack, and some worried that the delay on the pipeline decision could undermine moderates such as Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu and Arkansas Senator Mark Pryor whose re-election bids will help determine whether Republicans gain control of the Senate.
After the State Department's announcement, Landrieu promised constituents in her energy-producing state that she would wield her power as chair of the Senate Energy Committee to get the Keystone project approved.
Landrieu was one of 11 Democratic senators who urged Obama in a letter a week ago to make a decision on the project by May 31. But even if she and her colleagues joined Republicans to pass a bill compelling Obama to approve Keystone XL, they would have a difficult time reaching the necessary two-thirds majority in the 100-person Senate to override a presidential veto.
I have said this before. With all due respect to MB. This is no longer where we make our stand. Democrats will lose in certain States based on this decision. Redstate and Fossil-fuel producing/processing states Dems are left out to dry between this and ACA (for all the wrong reasons) it only makes it more difficult, imho.
Some day, the Admin will choose between Labor and Enviro. But, not today. For those interested, you can find the response from multiple Labor Unions that don't like this at all.
They're gonna ship by truck and rail regardless. They are already doing so. All we're doing is pissing off our beloved Canadian neighbors and making election more difficult for those Dems seeking re-election.