The Keystone XL pipeline wouldn't run through Colorado, but it's about to take center stage in the state's politics.
The Senate is near certain to vote this week on legislation that would approve the oil-sands pipeline, and that's leaving Sen. Mark Udall — a Democrat facing a tough reelection challenge — with an unenviable choice to make.
Udall told the Denver Post Monday that he'll vote against the pipeline bill, consistent with his previous votes. But that's not stopping either side from lobbying for his attention and trying to force his hand.
If Udall votes yes, he'll anger a liberal base that has put blocking the pipeline at the head of its environmental charge. But if he votes no, his opponent promises to use it as fodder for painting the Democrat as too liberal for a moderate state.
And neither faction is making its case quietly.
The anti-Keystone group 350.org will hold a protest outside of Udall's office Tuesday, one of several protests across the country on the pipeline. Jason Kowalski, the group's policy director, said the attention on Udall's race makes it a natural place to begin the grassroots march before heading to the office of Sen. Michael Bennet, another Colorado Democrat.