ST. LOUIS – U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill issued the following statement after voting to approve the Keystone Pipeline:

During my career, I’ve never been afraid to pick a fight—including with the leaders of my own party—because we can’t let politics trump good policy.

And for the last several years, that’s the approach I’ve taken with construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. While many members of my party have organized in opposition to Keystone’s construction, I fought to speed its approval. Because it was never a choice of whether the pipeline would be built—it was a question of where. We faced a choice of allowing the pipeline to be built in the United States, or of having it built through Canada, and missing out on the jobs and opportunities its construction will create.

I was proud to vote to approve Keystone, which passed the Senate with a bipartisan 62-36 vote.

Over the past two years, I’ve voted repeatedly to speed approval of this project. I told the Secretary of State, as well as President Obama, to expedite its approval. Approval of the southern leg of the pipeline was good news and served as a good opportunity for me to urge the Administration to approve the rest of the construction of this infrastructure project.

I spoke to my colleagues, both Democrats and Republicans, and worked to convince them that this project has broad benefits for both our economy and our energy security. Not all of them were receptive—Democrats especially—but if we’re going to eliminate our reliance on oil from unfriendly regimes like Iran and Venezuela, then Keystone is a helpful step.

Keystone will also provide a safer, more reliable method of transporting oil through the country—safer than transport by rail, truck, or barge. The pipeline can better protect property and minimize environmental impact than moving the same oil by train or truck, where more accidents take place. And increased domestic production combined with importing energy resources from allies like Canada will bolster America’s national security.

My support for Keystone is also a product of my view that, with energy security an issue of paramount importance, we can’t be needlessly taking energy sources off the table. That’s why I’ve also supported the design and production of cheaper, safer nuclear power, a greater role for renewables and energy storage, and increased oil and gas production on federal lands.

When it comes to Keystone, this process has taken far longer than it should have, but I’m glad that Congress has finally approved this project. The Administration’s reluctance to embrace this pipeline frustrates many of us.

Partisanship isn’t a Missouri value—we’re a state that values independent thinking and commonsense solutions. Those are the values I strived to bring to this debate, and they’re the values I’ll never stop fighting for.

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