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Tenn. Senators React to Pipeline Block

WASHINGTON? (?AP?) — ?Tennessee’s? ?Republican? ?Senator’s? ?are? ?reacting strongly to President Barack Obama’s decision to?, at least temporarily?, ?block? ?the? ?$7? ?billion Keystone oil pipeline.

Lamar Alexander? ?says he can’t understand why the president failed to move ahead on a? ?project that would,? ?as the Senator put it,? ?“...make us less reliant on oil from hostile countries.?”

Senator Bob Corker was even more scathing,? ?saying the president’s decision is? ?election year politics and concluding,? “?...we really need the energy and the jobs.?”

President Obama says his decision isn't a judgment of the? ?pipeline’s merits.? ?He says he rejected the proposal because? ?the GOP didn’t give his administration enough time to thoroughly consider? ?pipeline plans.

Administration officials say the? arbitrary Feb.? ?21? ?deadline? ?didn’t give them enough time? ?to conduct environmental reviews.

The? ?1,700-mile? ?pipeline would carry oil from tar sands in western Canada to refineries in Texas,? ?passing through? ?seven Western states along the way.