The journey of the much-debated Keystone XL pipeline passed through Congress multiple times during recent months, but halted in early March, when a U.S. Senate vote to override President Barack Obama's veto didn't get the necessary two-thirds majority.
The 1,179-mile pipeline, which could have moved as much as 830,000 barrels of crude oil a day from Hardisty, Alberta, through Montana and South Dakota to Steele City, Nebraska, has become a hot-button issue, with environmental groups arguing with oil companies.
Legislation to approve the construction of the Keystone XL was defeated by one vote in November 2014. A new Republican Congress passed the measure in January, but Obama vetoed it hours later.
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A call to override that veto garnered 62 votes, five less than the required 67 to restart the plan for Keystone XL. Canadian company TransCanada is responsible for building similar pipelines that stretch over more than 200,000 miles in the United States, CEO Russ Girling told Financial Post
In South Carolina, the votes to override the veto stayed firmly along party lines. Republicans Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott supported the congressional action to disregard the president's veto, arguing that the pipeline would add jobs and strengthen the economy.
Scott, who replaced Jim DeMint in 2013, issued a statement
criticizing Obama for vetoing the bipartisan legislation:
"Today, the President vetoed the Keystone XL Pipeline Act to appease a small portion of his political base, plain and simple. The new Republican majority sent him an energy and infrastructure bill that enjoyed broad support among the American public, Congressional Republicans and Democrats, labor unions and business owners large and small. Unfortunately, the President chose to forgo the tens of thousands of American jobs and billions of dollars for America's economy for a short sighted, politically motivated veto."
Graham has been outspoken on many issues as he mounts his 2016 campaign for president.
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"I was one of the first members of the United States Senate to visit the Canadian oil sands to see first-hand how this resource could benefit our country," he said in a January statement
. "The choice is simple — build the pipeline, create jobs in the United States and lessen our dependence on oil from the Middle East. We need oil and Canada has the means to deliver it to us. There's nothing more common-sense than expanding our long-standing, mutually beneficial relationship with Canada."
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