The Keystone XL pipeline, one of this year's first priorities for congressional Republicans, suffered a major setback in March, when the U.S. Senate failed to override a presidential veto.
Proposed legislation to build a 1,179-mile pipeline that would ferry crude oil from Hardisty, Alberta, to Steele City, Nebraska via Montana and South Dakota initially failed to pass by one vote in November. The new Republican Congress approved it in January, but it was quickly vetoed by President Barack Obama.
The motion to disregard the veto went 62-37, five votes short of the 67, or two-thirds majority, needed to restart the pipeline's construction.
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In South Dakota, one of the states directly affected by the pipeline, the votes went along party lines. Republicans Mike Rounds and John Thune cast ballots to override Obama's veto, arguing that the TransCanada pipeline would add jobs and boost the economy.
Rounds was a key addition to the Senate. The former governor of South Dakota won the seat vacated by a retiring Tim Johnson, who had voted against the Keystone XL in November. Rounds' support helped to temporarily revive the pipeline.
"The Administration's approval of the Keystone XL pipeline is long overdue," Rounds said in January statement
, before the veto. "I'm pleased Congress took matters into its own hands and we were able to come together in a bipartisan manner to finally get this accomplished.
"This project will create jobs for hard-working South Dakotans and free up our railways to get more of our farmers’ grain to market. It's a commonsense piece of legislation that the President should sign into law as soon as it hits his desk."
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, who became the senior senator after Johnson's retirement: "For more than six years, President Obama has made one excuse after another for blocking this commonsense jobs and infrastructure project. A bipartisan majority in both the House and Senate have spoken. The time to approve the job-creating Keystone XL pipeline is now."
The Keystone XL has symbolized the divide between oil companies and environmentalists that forms the root of the political debate. Originally proposed in 2005, it was become the poster child issue for climate change advocates as a way to further shine a light on the dangers of global warming.
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