Missouri senators maintain support for Keystone XL Pipeline after vote fails; GOP bill likely

IndustriesAssociated Press

Missouri's U.S. senators are maintaining their support for the Keystone XL Pipeline after a vote on the project failed, citing economic benefits of the measure that will likely get another chance in the Senate.

The bill fell one vote short Tuesday of the 60 needed to prevent a filibuster in the Democratic-controlled Senate. Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has promised to reintroduce a version of the measure when Republicans take control of the chamber in January.

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The measure failed largely because of a lack of Democratic support, although the bill sponsor Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana is a Democrat and other members of her party voted in favor of the bill, including Missouri's Sen. Claire McCaskill.

The GOP-controlled House has voted several times to approve the pipeline, which would move oil from Canada into the United States and eventually to the Texas Gulf Coast. The new pipelines would not cross Missouri's borders.

Missouri Republican Sen. Roy Blunt voted for the bill and said it would have created jobs. "I am ready to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle," Blunt said in a statement, calling it "disappointing" that Democrats chose not to.

Democrats, including President Barack Obama, have pushed against the bill. Many cite environmental concerns. McCaskill, though, has long supported the legislation.

"Getting this project moving will mean creating jobs and business opportunities, and boosting America's energy security," she said.

Supporters say the pipeline would create jobs and ease American dependence on Middle East oil. A government environmental impact statement also predicts that a pipeline would result in less damage to the climate than moving the same oil by rail.

Critics say the drilling itself is environmentally harmful, and said much of the Canadian crude would be exported with little or no impact on America's drive for energy stability.

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