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Former adviser urges Obama to approve Keystone pipeline

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama’s former national security adviser says he should approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline as a matter of national security.

Retired Gen. James Jones tells the Senate Foreign Relations that approving the pipeline would send a message to Russian President Vladimir Putin and other ‘‘international bullies’’ that they cannot use energy security as a weapon. Jones says rejection of the Canada-to-Texas pipeline would ‘‘make Mr. Putin’s day and strengthen his hand.’’

The Senate panel is holding its first hearing on the pipeline five years after it was proposed as Democrats wrestle with its impact on the outcome of next fall’s election. Rich Democratic donors are funding candidates who oppose the project while the party’s continued control of the Senate may hinge on re-electing the pipeline’s biggest supporters.

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