The Slatest

Senate Narrowly Defeats Bill Authorizing Construction of Keystone Pipeline

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) after vote rejecting the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Photo by Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

The Senate narrowly defeated a bill approving the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline on Tuesday evening. The Senate vote came up one vote short of the 60 needed to advance the $8 billion pipeline that would carry petroleum from the tar-sand pits in Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. Fourteen Democrats joined all 45 Republican Senators in voting for the bill that opponents say carries with it significant environmental consequences.

The failure to pass the measure, the Wall Street Journal notes, delivered “a political setback to Sen. Mary Landrieu, (D., La.), who had pushed for the vote as a way to show political clout in her runoff race against challenger Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy.” The Keystone pipeline has become a major campaign issue in the Louisiana senate race with the House passing Rep. Cassidy’s Keystone proposal last week. The measure is a popular potential employment generator in Louisiana, as the state is set to hold a runoff election between Landrieu and Cassidy on Dec. 6.

“Shortly after the vote was tallied, Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell, who will become the Senate Majority Leader when Republicans take control of the Senate in January, said he will bring up the issue again ‘early next year,’ ” ABC News reports. Even if the bill had passed, President Obama was expected to veto it.