The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Keystone XL heats up MA Senate primary

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The Democratic primary for the open Senate seat in Massachusetts has become a new front in the national battle over the Keystone XL pipeline, with California billionaire Thomas Steyer threatening to spend heavily to influence its outcome.

On Monday, Steyer, who has spent more than $37 million of his own fortune in the past few years on California ballot initiative fights, joined with four young Massachusetts activists to pressure Rep. Steve Lynch (D-Mass.) to shift his position on the pipeline. Lynch has voted to pressure President Obama to grant TransCanada a permit to construct the pipeline; his rival in the April 30 primary, Rep. Edward J. Markey, opposes the project and has championed climate legislation.