Keystone Punt Puts Pressure On Vulnerable Democrats

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Andrea Drusch
April 21, 2014, 7:20 a.m.

The Obama Ad­min­is­tra­tion’s de­cision to kick the can on the Key­stone XL pipeline has some oil-state Demo­crats in a tough spot.

Col­or­ado Sen. Mark Ud­all (D), a lead­ing GOP tar­get, has yet to take a po­s­i­tion on the pro­pos­al, as has Ken­tucky Demo­crat Al­is­on Lun­der­gan Grimes (D). Louisi­ana Sen. Mary Landrieu (D), who has touted her power as chair­wo­man of the Sen­ate En­ergy and Nat­ur­al Re­sources Com­mit­tee, may be able to use the de­cision as a way to sep­ar­ate her­self from the pres­id­ent, but will be un­der pres­sure to make her match words with ac­tion. Landrieu, along with Sens. Mark Be­gich (D), Mark Warner (D) and Kay Hagan (D) all urged the pres­id­ent in a let­ter to ap­prove the pipeline con­struc­tion, but now “risk look­ing power­less in their in­flu­ence over the White House, and are tak­ing heat from their op­pon­ents for wait­ing too long to weigh in” (Politico).