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SD senators disagree on oil pipeline approval time

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) -- South Dakota's two U.S. senators disagree on whether language speeding up approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline should be included in a bill seeking to extend a payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits.

House Republicans passed a version that includes a requirement that federal officials decide within two months whether to approve the $7 billion pipeline that would cross South Dakota to deliver Canadian oil to refineries on the Gulf Coast.

Senate Democrats and President Barack Obama do not want the pipeline provision in the bill.

Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson said he agrees with Nebraska that the pipeline route should be changed, and that will require extra time for environmental analysis.

Republican Sen. John Thune said the pipeline should be speeded up because it could create 20,000 jobs.