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CAMPAIGN 2014:

KXL may not be decisive back home, but it's still more grim news for Landrieu

Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) has spent months touting her clout at the helm of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee as she has pleaded with voters for a fourth term, but those boasts fell flat last night as the Democratic lawmaker failed to secure enough votes to expedite the Keystone XL pipeline -- and could prove a ominous sign for her re-election bid.

KEYSTONE XL:

For Landrieu, so close -- yet so far

Mary Landrieu ended up last night in the same place she started: one vote short. The final tally on legislation to approve the Keystone XL pipeline landed at 59-41, where it had been publicly since at least Friday -- and apparently where it was from the start, said Landrieu, the outgoing chairwoman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, who has boasted of her Senate clout on the campaign trail.

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About this report

With the heft to carry half a million barrels of oil daily, the $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline is a huge proposal. But behind the furor over it lies an even bigger question: How should America approach the massive fuel reserves that its northern neighbor is working overtime to tap?

Setting the Stage

OIL SANDS:

With emotions high and evidence low, pipeline corrosion questions hound Keystone XL

OUTSIDE FORT McMURRAY, Alberta -- Hold a vial of pumped and processed oil to the light here, just before it enters the pipeline that one executive jokingly calls "the cash register," and you can see a layer of watery sediment settled at the bottom. Environmental and safety groups warn that this diluted bitumen poses a greater risk of pipeline corrosion and spills than conventional fuel or the synthetic crude also produced from the Canadian oil sands.

OIL AND GAS:

Protest makes Keystone XL newest front in climate clash

In the year since a cap-and-trade climate bill failed on Capitol Hill, a funny thing happened -- gradually but unmistakably -- to the U.S.-Canada pipeline project known as Keystone XL: It became the global warming fight's new guise. Keystone XL's ascension from little-known commodity to fodder for a marquee bout between industry groups and environmentalists is set to start its last leg tomorrow, as green advocates converge on the White House for a two-week demonstration against the $7 billion proposal.

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