- Associated Press - Thursday, January 29, 2015

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - South Dakota’s U.S. Senate delegation voted to approve a bipartisan bill that would authorize construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, a portion of which would run through the state.

Republican Sens. John Thune and Mike Rounds were two of the 62 senators who voted in favor of sending the bill to President Barack Obama’s desk. The president has said he will veto any Keystone legislation that comes to him.

The pipeline proposed by TransCanada Corp. would transport Canadian oil through Montana and South Dakota to Nebraska, where it would connect with existing pipelines to carry the oil to refineries along the Gulf Coast.

Following the passage of the bill, Thune said needs to get on board with the Republican-controlled Congress and sign the legislation.

“The president is out of excuses,” Thune said. “He should support this project and join Republicans in getting Washington working again for the American people.”

The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission earlier this month voted down an effort from project opponents to throw out a request for the re-approval of a portion of the pipeline. Terry Frish, a Nebraska resident who opposes the construction of the pipeline, was among more than three-dozen people who submitted written comments to the PUC in opposition.

Frisch said Thursday that he welcomes the president’s rejection and hopes to see the project put to rest.

“I guess it’s going to be up to the president to deny it,” Frisch said. “We expect the president to deny it. When that happens, everything is going to be done.”

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