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Senate narrowly fails to pass Keystone XL pipeline bill

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Climate advocates and representatives from the Rosebud Sioux Tribe in South Dakota protest against Keystone XL pipeline at Senator Landrieu's house in Washington

Climate advocates and representatives from the Rosebud Sioux Tribe in South Dakota protest against the Keystone XL pipeline in front of the home (center) of U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA), chair of the Senate Energy Committee, in Washington November 17, 2014. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate on Tuesday narrowly failed to pass a bill that would have approved construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, rejecting a measure the House of Representatives approved last week.

The vote count was 59-41 in favor, but 60 "ayes" would have been needed to assure passage. Fourteen Democrats voted for the bill, joining all 45 Republicans who voted to support the pipeline.

TransCanada Corp's $8 billion pipeline would help transport crude oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, but is opposed by environmentalists.

Had the bill passed, it would likely have been vetoed by President Barack Obama.

(Reporting by Ros Krasny; Editing by Sandra Maler)