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      Governor Nixon endorses Keystone oil pipeline

      A sign reading "Stop the Transcanada Pipeline" stands in a field near Bradshaw, Neb.

      Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is supporting the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline, joining other Midwestern governors who are urging President Barack Obama to approve its construction.

      In a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday, Nixon cited energy independence and economic growth as reasons to support the pipeline's construction. The State Department is taking comments on the project before making a recommendation to Obama on whether to approve it.

      The Democratic governor says the project would promote energy independence in an "environmentally responsible way."

      The pipeline would travel through the heart of the United States, carrying oil derived from tar sands in western Canada to a hub in Nebraska, where it would connect with existing pipelines.