WASHINGTON, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu on Tuesday failed in her three-year bid to push the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline project from Canada.
Senators voted 59-41 against the controversial bill, one vote shy of the 60 votes necessary. The bill had bipartisan support but is stiffly opposed by environmental groups.
The bill passed the House of Representatives on Friday with a vote of 252-161.
The pipeline would extend an existing network that carries crude oil from the oil sands in Alberta, Canada, to Steele City, Nebraska, passing through the environmentally sensitive Sand Hills region.
Supporters of the pipeline say its construction and operation would create "thousands" of jobs, while critics contend it would cause irreparable environmental harm, but less than 100 permanent jobs.
The bill may have been one of Landrieu's last legislative actions as she faces a tight runoff election against U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La., to retain her seat in Louisiana.
"I took that opportunity. I called for this vote, not Harry Reid, not Mitch McConnell. I called for it and I think it's worth fighting for," said Landrieu, who is chairwoman of the Senate Energy Committee.
Daniel J. Graeber and Gabrielle Levy contributed to this report.