Senate blocks bill approving Keystone XL Pipeline construction

WASHINGTON – The politics of the pipeline continue on Capitol Hill.

In a close vote on Tuesday, the Senate blocked a bill approving construction of the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline.

The final vote was 59 to 41, but the bill needed 60 senators on board to pass. The vote comes on the heels of House of Representatives overwhelming decision to green-light the project last week.

The $7 billion proposed pipeline would carry oil from tar sands in western Canada to refineries along the Texas Gulf Coast.

Supporters say the project would create jobs and help America become more energy-independent, but opponents say there haven’t been enough environmental studies done, and the pipeline could contribute to global warming.

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) voted against the pipeline – saying it’s not a decision for Congress to make.

“I just think we should let the professionals make the decision,” he said. “Sometimes it’s a political decision, other times it’s a professional decision. We should listen to the science and listen to them.”

Even though the bill failed in the Senate on Tuesday, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who becomes the Senate majority leader when the new Congress is sworn in, has already vowed to take up the legislation again – as soon as Republicans control both chambers of Congress next year.

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