GOP Bid To Authorize Keystone Pipeline Fails

Source: Brian Montopoli / CBS News

The Senate has voted down a Republican-backed amendment that would have authorized construction of the Keystone Pipeline from Alberta to the Midwest and Gulf Coast.

The amendment to the transportation bill now being debated in Congress, which was put forth by North Dakota Republican Senator John Hoeven, needed 60 votes for passage.

Fifty-six senators voted in favor, while 42 were opposed. Eleven Democrats voted in favor of the measure, along with every Republican present. Two Republicans did not vote.

President Obama denied TransCanada’s application to build the $7 billion, 1,700 mile pipeline in January amid concerns about the environmental impact in the sensitive Sand Hills area of Nebraska. He said he was willing to revisit the decision but that a Republican-mandated timeline did not allow enough time for an environmental impact assessment.

President Obama personally made phone calls to senators Thursday morning asking them to oppose the measure. The White House said before the vote that “Republicans are trying to play politics with a pipeline project whose route has yet to be proposed, and despite the claims that this would somehow solve the pain families are feeling at the pump today, according to the company it would take years before it transported a drop of oil.”

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