U.S. Senate votes down Keystone XL pipeline

CC BY 2.0 Shannon Patrick

After the House of Representatives approved legislation pushing the Keystone XL pipeline forward, the Senate has rejected it.

The Senate voted down the bill by a narrow vote of 59 to 41, needing one more vote to break a filibuster and send the legislation to the President’s desk.

The bill was introduced by Democrat Mary Landrieu, in an effort to curry favor in her home state of Louisiana. She is facing a run-off election on December 6 against Republican Bill Cassidy, who is leading in the polls.

“I'm going to fight for the people of my state until the day that I leave. I hope that will not be soon,” said Landrieu, USA Today reports.

Because the pipeline would cross the U.S./Canada border, it has been under review by the State Department. Comments from President Obama strongly suggested that he would have vetoed the bill, had it passed both houses of Congress.

Environmental advocates have long called for an outright rejection of the proposed pipeline expansion, citing past pipeline spills and the high levels of pollution that result from tar sands extraction.

A group of chanting anti-pipeline protesters briefly interrupted the vote count, and were escorted out of the building by security officers.

Although yesterday’s vote continues to put off construction of the Keystone XL pipeline for now, the issue is far from over. Mother Jones reports that Republicans plan to approve the pipeline next year, when they will have a majority in the Senate.

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