A bill intended to force the authorization of the Keystone XL pipeline failed to pass in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, falling one vote short of the 60-vote threshold it needed to pass.
The defeat of the bill, which had been championed by Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., was seen as something of a victory for environmental advocates, though not a complete one. When Republicans take over the Senate in January, they're expected to have 63 votes in favor of approving a bill like this one, though it's possible that President Barack Obama would still have the power to veto it.
If approved, the proposed 1,200-mile pipeline is slated bring 800,000 barrels per day of tar sands oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast. A 2010 report from the National Wildlife Federation noted that exposure to toxins, power line collisions, oil spills and habitat fragmentation could endanger the habitats of several threatened species. With the pipeline's proposed construction still looming, the wildlife who live in its path remain safe - for now, at least.