Keystone Pipeline Dies in Senate, GOP Blames Obama

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Democrats in Washington have shut down the Keystone XL pipeline once again.

Under pressure from the White House, Senate Democrats voted Thursday night against a Republican plan to speed approval of an oil pipeline from Canada to Texas.

Senate Republicans, and even former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, are already trying to use the issue to their advantage, calling Democrats out for voting against jobs.

The GOP is also targeting President Obama for lobbying Democratic senators to vote against the pipeline.

"It's hard to comprehend how out of touch he is on this issue," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., charged.

"Think about it," he said. "At a moment when millions are out of work, gas prices are sky-rocketing, the Middle East is in turmoil, we've got a president up making phone calls trying to block a pipeline here at home."

The White House and environmental groups say the proposed pipeline is environmentally risky. They're concerned that it would use huge amounts of energy to transport so-called "dirty oil" from Canada to Texas.

"The president believes that it is wrong to play politics with a pipeline project whose route has yet to be proposed," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said.

But Republicans say it would create tens of thousands of jobs.

"The number of licenses provided on federal lands have been cut in half by this president," Romney said from the campaign trail. "The permits granted to drilling operations have been cut to one-third of what it used to be."

"He even said no to the only no-brainer I can think of for a while, which is the Keystone pipeline bringing oil in from Canada," Romney added.

Romney is also blaming the president "in part" for rising gas prices. A gallon of regular unleaded gasoline cost $1.84 when Obama took office. It now averages $3.79 a gallon.

"And he says, 'Well, it's not my fault.' We've gone from the 'Yes, we can' to 'It's not my fault,'" Romney said.

But economists say there's not much a president of either party can do about gas prices.

President Obama said the economic crisis began before he took office and that his policies have kept the situation from getting worse.

 - Originally aired on March 9th, 2012

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Heather Sells

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