WASHINGTON (AP/KSNT) – The Democrat-controlled Senate has defeated a bill to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline.
The Senate’s 59-41 vote Tuesday night was a nail-biter to the end.
The bill needed 60 votes to reach the White House. The House passed it overwhelmingly last week.
President Barack Obama did not support the bill, but the White House has been mum on whether or not he will veto it.
Democrat Sen. Mary Landrieu pushed for the vote in an effort to save her seat in a Dec. 6 runoff election in Louisiana. She faces an uphill battle against Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy, who authored the House bill.
Kansas US Senator Jerry Moran (R) said the vote should have happened years ago, adding “…while I am disappointed it failed by a single vote in the Democrat-led Senate, it is only a matter of time before it is passed in the next Congress by the new Republican Majority and sent to President Obama’s desk.”
All Republicans said publicly they supported the Senate bill, as did several moderate Democrats.
In Kansas, a spokesman for Kansas Interfaith Power and Light lauded the defeat for environmental concerns surrounding the project.
If the pipeline were to leak for some reason, writes Rabbi Moti Rieber, Director of Kansas IPL “..the ecological and economic devastation would be incalculable.”
Some 300 miles of the Keystone XL pipeline have already been completed in Kansas crossing 10 counties. The project in the state included two pump station and employed about 280 construction workers with an economic impact estimated at about $683 million dollars.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.