The Keystone XL pipeline was denied congressional approval for construction in 2014 by the margin of a single Senate vote, narrowly defeating the largely Republican-supported Senate bill 2280 in what was a mostly partisan turnout.
According to a complete Senate roll call, 59 members voted to pass the measure, S.2280, and 41 voted to fail it. Of those "Yea" votes, 45 were cast by Republicans and 14 were cast by Democrats. The "Nay" votes consisted of 39 Democrats and two independents.
Approval of the bill would have allowed TransCanada Keystone Pipeline to construct and operate a pipeline from Canada through the Midwest to Gulf Coast refineries waiting for crude oil pumped from the Canadian tar sands.
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California's Democratic Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein sided with the majority of their party against the Keystone XL pipeline, citing environmental degradation as the reason for their opposition.
Sen. Boxer, the chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, had perhaps the strongest criticisms of the pipeline, according to MSNBC, when she said the XL stood for "extra lethal."
During her remarks, Sen. Feinstein weighed
the environmental impacts versus the economonic impacts.
“I want to congratulate Sen. Boxer on her leadership on this issue. We clearly have had a very intensive debate in our caucus on this. There are varying views, and I have thought a lot about it. ... On the economics of the pipeline, there is simply not enough benefit to outweigh the environmental damage," said Feinstein, in her remarks.
The votes were cast on Nov. 18, 2014. The bill was introduced May 1, 2014, by North Dakota Republican Sen. John Hoeven and had 55 co-sponsors.
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