BATTLE FOR THE SENATE

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).

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