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Editor's Note: Gary Peters will never vote for Keystone

Nolan Finley
The Detroit News

New Michigan Sen. Gary Peters said before last fall's election that he'd weigh his vote on the Keystone XL Pipeline based on the environmental soundness of the project.

Impact studies by the U.S. State Department and others have affirmed Keystone does not present a high risk of leaks, and will not add significantly to carbon emissions. Now Peters is looking for other excuses.

At last weekend's state Democratic convention, the senator said he'll hold off on a Keystone decision until he figures out what's going on with the aging pipeline across the Straits of Mackinac.

That pipeline is 62 years old, built at a time when materials, engineering and technology were well inferior to where they are today. Unlike Keystone, it runs underwater, where leaks are both harder to detect and repair.

The Mackinac pipeline has as much to do with Keystone as a Model T does with a Tesla.

Peters took $3 million for his campaign from California billionaire Tom Steyer, who publicly stated he was backing candidates who would oppose Keystone. Peters should just go ahead and admit he won't vote for Keystone under any conditions.

With the oil-rich states of Iraq and Libya in danger of falling to Islamic extremists, there's no good excuse not to open a petroleum conduit to Canada. Certainly citing concerns about a six-decade-old pipeline that isn't even leaking doesn't pass the validity test.