NewsMontana Politics


MT delegation seeks reversal on Biden’s Keystone Pipeline cancellation

Bills introduced; Tester writes letter to Biden
Keystone XL
Posted at 11:35 AM, Feb 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-03 19:41:00-05

HELENA — The two Republican members of Montana’s congressional delegation have introduced bills to reverse President Biden’s decision to halt construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline.

And, the delegation’s only Democrat – U.S. Sen. Jon Tester – wrote a letter this week to the president, asking him to reconsider his order canceling Keystone’s cross-border permit.

U.S. Rep. Matt Rosendale and U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, both Republicans, introduced bills Tuesday in their respective chambers to authorize construction of the pipeline, which would carry Canadian crude oil from Alberta to refineries in the southern United States.

“The Keystone XL Pipeline provides good, high-paying jobs and is a source of added revenue for our rural communities,” Rosendale said in a statement. “This executive order has really hurt Montana.”

It’s not clear whether the bills will be scheduled for hearings in the Democratic-controlled House or the Senate.

Tester said he’s urging Biden to meet with stakeholders, including Indian tribes, to “chart a path forward on the job-creating project.”

The pipeline route covers 285 miles in northeast Montana, from north of Malta to the South Dakota border near Ekalaka.

An MTN News analysis of the impacts showed that construction of the pipeline would mean 800-1,000 jobs in Montana, over a period of nine to 27 months – although only about 10 percent to 15 percent would be hired from the local workforce.

An environmental review also said once the pipeline is completed, it would pay $63 million a year in property taxes in Montana.

Biden issued an executive order shortly after he was inaugurated, revoking the cross-border permit for the pipeline, citing its impact on global warming and the environment. Environmentalists and other opponents of the pipeline have argued that it’s not necessary, and would encourage development of some of the dirtiest oil deposits.