Senate Democrats defeat Keystone XL Pipeline by 1 vote

The vote came down 59-41.


Patrick Howell O'Neill


Published Nov 18, 2014   Updated May 30, 2021, 4:33 am CDT

A bill that would have approved the construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline was defeated in the U.S. Senate by a vote of 59 to 41 Tuesday night.

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The bill needed a supermajority, or 60 votes, to pass.

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The defeat of the controversial oil pipeline is seen as a significant victory for most Democrats, but a major loss for Dem. Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana who spearheaded the efforts.

Senate has voted AGAINST the Keystone XL Pipeline by a margin of 55 yes to 41 no.

— Ryan Gorman (@GormoJourno) November 18, 2014

Finishing the Keystone pipeline would create 35 permanent operator jobs – and none in La.

— NPR News (@nprnews) November 18, 2014

The vote, which is the culmination of years of controversy over the project, was marked by protest.

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Singing Native American carried out of senate chamber following 59-41 Keystone vote @CQnow

— CQEnergy (@CQEnergy) November 18, 2014

Two protests in Senate follow failed Keystone vote: lone man singing and four people chanting about Senate Dems blocking Keystone

— Burgess Everett (@burgessev) November 18, 2014

Keystone protesters escorted out of Senate

— daveweigel (@daveweigel) November 18, 2014

A May 2014 Washington Post-ABC News poll found that 65 percent of Americans supported construction of the pipeline while 22 percent opposed it. Congressional Republicans are expected to take the issue to a vote once again next year when they take control of both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

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Photo by tarsandaction/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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*First Published: Nov 18, 2014, 8:57 pm CST