Obama snubs oil pipeline

 
Julian Harris
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POLITICAL bickering heightened in the US last night, as President Barack Obama stoked a battle with Republicans by rejecting plans for a huge oil pipeline to Canada.

The decision over the pipeline – seen as a key battleground between Obama and opposition Republicans during the race for the White House this year – coincided with the House of Representatives knocking back a $1.2 trillion increase in the federal debt limit.

The snub by the Republican-controlled House is near-certain to be overturned by the Democrat-controlled Senate, while the President in any case holds a veto. The vote was seen as largely symbolic, as both sides gear up into election mode.

And Republicans will attack the President for his decision to block the 1,700-mile Keystone pipeline connecting Canada and Texas – a project they argue would create thousands of jobs.