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Keystone XL Pipeline: Northwest Senators Vote Along Party Lines

File photo from 2009 of a 30-inch pipe for the Keystone Pipeline near Swanton, Nebraska.
Shannon Ramos
/
Flickr
File photo from 2009 of a 30-inch pipe for the Keystone Pipeline near Swanton, Nebraska.

Northwest lawmakers voted along party lines as the U.S. Senate voted Tuesday to reject a plan to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

File photo from 2009 of a 30-inch pipe for the Keystone Pipeline near Swanton, Nebraska.
Credit Shannon Ramos / Flickr
/
Flickr
File photo from 2009 of a 30-inch pipe for the Keystone Pipeline near Swanton, Nebraska.

Fourteen Democrats voted with all 45 Republicans in the Senate to approve it. But it was one vote shy of the amount needed to send the measure to the President.

Washington Democrat Patty Murray told her colleagues she was against the pipeline.

"With all that we already know about the impacts of climate change, how can we possibly move this project forward before we have a thorough understanding of the environmental impacts that will result from building the Keystone pipeline?” she said.

Oregon Democrat Jeff Merkley, also spoke against the bill on the Senate floor. He said that the pipeline would simply deepen the country's dependence on fossil fuels.

"As members of the human family on this planet, with the moral responsibility to exercise wide stewardship of our resources for future generations, we must address this challenge of carbon pollution and we must do so now,” Merkley said.

Republicans could bring the legislation back next year when they control both chambers of Congress.

President Obama has expressed concerns about the pipeline that would bring oil from Canada to refineries in the Gulf of Mexico.

Copyright 2014 Northwest News Network

Chris Lehman
Chris Lehman graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He landed his first job less than a month later, producing arts stories for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana. Three years later he headed north to DeKalb, Illinois, where he worked as a reporter and announcer for NPR–affiliate WNIJ–FM. In 2006 he headed west to become the Salem Correspondent for the Northwest News Network.