Sen. Barbara BoxerBarbara BoxerCarly Fiorina 'certainly looking at' Virginia Senate run Top Obama adviser signs with Hollywood talent agency: report 
Democrats vie for chance to take on Trump as California governor MORE (D-Calif.) on Tuesday urged Democrats to vote against approving the Keystone XL pipeline, arguing the project would be “lethal” for the environment.

“What does XL stand for? To me it stands for extra lethal,” Boxer said on the Senate floor Tuesday. “This is a serious environmental hazard.”

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The Senate is set to vote Tuesday evening on whether to approve a construction permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry oil from Canada through the United States to Gulf Coast refineries. Environmentalists oppose the project, arguing it would contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and put communities at risk.

Supporters of Keystone are scrambling to find the votes to pass the bill through the Senate, and appear to be one short of the 60 votes needed to break through procedural hurdles.

While more than a dozen Democrats are expected to back Keystone, a sizable group of liberals, including Boxer, are dead-set against it.

Boxer, who serves as chairwoman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said an increased use of oil from Canadian tar sands would result in more “cancer-causing pollutants” entering the atmosphere.

“Building the pipeline will make things worse for the people we represent,” Boxer said. “Misery follows the tar sands.”

Supporters of the pipeline argue it would help create jobs and say Canada will produce the oil regardless of whether it's constructed. The question, they say, is whether the United States will profit as well.

The administration has delayed approving the project because it is waiting for more health and environmental impact studies.