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Keystone breakthrough may muffle Republican attack on Obama

Source:  Copyright 2012, Reuters
Date:  February 27, 2012
Byline:  Richard Cowan
Original URL: Status ONLINE
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A Canadian company's decision on Monday to proceed with part of a U.S. pipeline might end up muffling one of the Republicans' loudest arguments in this election year: that President Barack Obama has pursued failed energy policies.

TransCanada Corp announced it intended to begin work on the southern leg of the $7 billion Keystone XL project, from Oklahoma to Texas, leaving for later another run at the more controversial, and complicated, northern segment.

For months, Republicans have hammered Obama for blocking the pipeline project out of concern for the environmentally sensitive areas south of the U.S.-Canada border. Republicans seeking re-election to Congress uniformly branded his decision as a job-killer that undermines energy independence.

While Obama must still face Republican wrath over rising gasoline prices, his opponents will now find it harder to press their attacks over Keystone, a project that garners wide support among American ...

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