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Keystone pipeline backed by coalition of Democrats, Republicans, labor, business

WASHINGTON - An unusual coalition of lawmakers from both parties, labour and business leaders, veterans groups and Canada's ambassador to the United States have joined forces to push for quick approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Speakers at a Capitol news conference Tuesday urged President Barack Obama to approve the pipeline following a State Department report last week that raised no major environmental objections.

The pipeline would carry oilsands bitumen from oilsands in western Canada to refineries along the Texas Gulf Coast. The project has lingered for more than five years and become a symbol of the political debate over climate change.

Canadian Ambassador Gary Doer spoke, along with labour union officials and a retired Navy admiral.

Opponents, including many Democratic lawmakers, say the pipeline would carry heavy oil that contributes to global warming.

The Canadian Press

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