Kentucky Democratic Candidate For U.S. Senate Seat Wants Keystone Pipeline OK’d

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Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes called Wednesday on President Obama to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline as she tries to defeat an incumbent Republican in the heart of coal country.

Grimes' statement to The Associated Press comes on the day a group committed to blocking the pipeline announced it will spend $500,000 setting up field offices in Kentucky to try to defeat U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell.

Grimes has criticized the administration's energy policies before. But she had yet to take a position on the pipeline – a key issue in Senate races pitting the value of economic development versus protecting the environment. Eleven incumbent Democrats wrote Obama earlier this month urging approval.

McConnell's campaign has criticized Grimes for not saying whether she supported the pipeline's construction.