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Politics

Tenn. Democrats split their votes on the XL Pipeline

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WASHINGTON (APWMOT) — A Tennessee Democrat voted against party and president yesterday to help Republicans pass a bill approving construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline.

Nashville Congressman Jim Cooper was one of 28 Democrats to join the Republican majority to pass the bill. Rep. Rep. Steve Cohen, the other Democrat in Tennessee’s congressional delegation, voted against the pipeline.

President Obama has promised to veto the measure. While the bill passed both chambers comfortably, neither has the votes to override a veto.

Cooper is a member of the so-called “Blue Dog Coalition” a caucus of conservative Democrats.  Citing economic and national security concerns, the Blue Dogs endorsed the pipeline intended to pump crude oil from Canada to Gulf Coast refineries.

Environmentalist worry about the pipeline spills and the impact on carbon emissions.

Republicans have pushed hard to get the pipeline approved. It was first proposed in 2008.