The long-discussed bill to construct the Keystone XL pipeline received a serious blow in March, when the U.S. Senate failed to collect enough votes to override President Barack Obama's veto.
The 1,179-mile pipeline could've moved up to 830,000 barrels of oil a day from Hardisty, Alberta, through Montana and South Dakota to Steele City, Nebraska, but legislation for the project stalled in Congress. Initially defeated by one vote in November 2014, a new Republican Congress pushed the proposal through in January, sending it to the Obama's desk, where it was vetoed.
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The final vote to override the veto went 62-37, five votes shy of the required 67 that would've restarted the plan for a Canadian company to build the pipeline. Supporters of the pipeline had previously stated that they lacked the votes for a two-thirds majority.
While issuing his veto, Obama said Congress was attempting to "circumvent longstanding and proven processes for determining whether or not building, and operating a cross-border pipeline serves the national interest."
In Pennsylvania, support strayed from party lines. Democrat Bob Casey and Republican Pat Toomey voted to override Obama, agreeing with the contention that the pipeline would create jobs and boost the economy. They also voted for the pipeline in the January vote.
Casey was one of eight Democrats to cast a ballot to override Obama, along with Joe Manchin (West Virginia), Heidi Heitkamp (North Dakota), Mark Warner (Virginia), Claire McCaskill (Missouri), Michael Bennet (Colorado), Tom Carper (Delaware) and Jon Tester (Montana).
Casey also was one of 14 Dems to vote yes on the bill in November, along with 45 Republicans. After that vote, Casey spokesman John Rizzo told The Philadelphia Inquirer
that the senator thought the pipeline could "create jobs and bolster energy security. He believes we must continue to grow the domestic energy supply to fuel the economy and increase our energy independence."
In voting for the bill in January, Toomey issued a statement
: "The bill we passed is a common-sense, bipartisan measure that increases our energy security and grows our economy. Hopefully, the White House will reconsider its opposition to a pro-jobs infrastructure project that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have endorsed."
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The Keystone XL has illuminated the fight between oil companies and environmentalists that sits at the core of the political debate. Obama opposes the bill and wants the State Department to complete its review. He has said he won't approve the pipeline if it raises greenhouse gas emissions.
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