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September 24, 2013
Republicans See Keystone Pipeline as a Card to Play in Last-Minute Fiscal Talks
By MICHAEL D. SHEAR
WASHINGTON — As a possible government shutdown looms, environmental activists who oppose construction of the Keystone XL pipeline say they are increasingly alarmed that the project might become a bargaining chip in last-minute negotiations between Republicans and President Obama to avert a fiscal crisis.
If built, the 1,700-mile pipeline would carry millions of gallons of crude oil from Alberta in Canada to American refineries on the Gulf Coast. Because it crosses an international border, the pipeline requires approval by Mr. Obama’s administration after a review by the State Department. Mr. Obama has repeatedly said he would not make a decision until that process was complete.
But Republicans who support the pipeline have already signaled that they intend to demand approval of a permit for its construction in exchange for their willingness to support Mr. Obama and raise the nation’s debt ceiling next month.
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