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Broad coalition pushes Obama to approve Keystone XL oil pipeline

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FILE - In this Dec. 3, 2012 file photo, crews work on construction of the TransCanada Keystone XL Pipeline near County Road 363 and County Road 357, east of Winona, Texas. In a move that disappointed environmental groups and cheered the oil industry, the Obama administration on Jan. 31, 2014, said it had no major environmental objections to the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada. (AP Photo/The Tyler Morning Telegraph, Sarah A. Miller)

An unusual coalition of lawmakers from both parties, labor 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 Obama to approve the pipeline following a State Department report last week that raised no major environmental objections. 

The pipeline would carry oil from tar sands 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 labor union officials and a retired Navy admiral.

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