The Keystone XL pipeline, a line in the sand both figurative and literal for environmentalists and the energy sector, was denied approval for construction in 2014 by the margin of a single vote, narrowly defeating the largely Republican-supported Senate bill 2280
Approval of the bill would have allowed the TransCanada Keystone Pipeline company to construct and operate a pipeline from Canada through the Midwest to the Gulf where refineries expect crude oil to be pumped down from Canadian tar sands.
According to a complete Senate roll call, 59 members said "Yea" on the measure, and 41 said "Nay." Forty-five Republicans and 14 by Democrats voted for it; 39 Democrats and two independents voted against it.
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S.2280 was introduced May 1, 2014, by North Dakota Republican Sen. John Hoeven, and 55 senators co-signed it. The bill failed on Nov. 18, 2014.
The Illinois delegation split its vote along party lines.
Republican junior Sen. Mark Kirk, one of the 55 co-sponsors, voted to pass the bill for American jobs, energy independence, and security.
"I look forward to another opportunity to support the Keystone XL pipeline under a Republican majority because the pipeline would make North America more energy independent from the instabilities of the Middle East. The pipeline will create jobs in Illinois while supporting our allies instead of our enemies,” said Kirk, in a statement to the Chicago Sun-Times
Despite an unwillingness to reveal his position leading up to the roll call, Democratic Sen. and then-Majority Whip Dick Durbin voted against the measure. However, when an identical bill was introduced in the follwing year's session, he did have some terse words for Republican assertions that the Keystone XL pipeline would be a boon to the American economy.
According to The Washington Post,
he "repeatedly called Keystone XL a 'Canadian' pipeline," and said “'Most McDonald’s' franchises offer more jobs.”
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