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Northwest Senators Vote On Party Lines As Senate Rejects Keystone XL Pipeline

Sue Ogrocki
AP Photo
FILE - In this Feb. 1, 2012 file photo, miles of pipe ready to become part of the Keystone Pipeline are stacked in a field near Cushing, Okla.

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

Fourteen Democrats voted with all 45 Republicans in the Senate to approve it, but the plan was one vote shy of the minimum needed to send the measure to the president. 

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., 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?" Murray said.

Republicans could bring the legislation back next year when they control both chambers of Congress. President Barack Obama has expressed concerns about the pipeline that would bring oil from Canada to refineries in the Gulf of Mexico. 

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.