Senator Jon Tester (D-MT), has urged Biden to rethink one of the first actions he took as president: terminating the Keystone XL pipeline permit, given the economic importance of the pipeline to the state of Montana.
Tester wrote a letter to Biden this week, wherein he pointed out that the Keystone Pipeline Project could “support thousands of good paying jobs,” as well as providing “a safer, more efficient alternative” to fossil fuel transport via trucks or railroads.
Tester also added that the pipeline’s completion would serve as a critical economic driver for Montana, and he insisted that he supports the project “as long as it is built to the highest safety standards”, constructed from American steel, and remained respectful of private property rights, including “robust consultation with Tribes.”
The Montana-based Democrat also notes that various changes can be made to ensure the pipeline continuously adheres to the highest environmental and safety standards.
Tester urged “a straightforward conversation” along with common sense safety precautions with the proposed project, including environmental concerns, rather than cancellation of the project entirely. Instead, the safeguards could help ensure environmental safety “while still supporting jobs and economic development.”
Tester concluded by saying he is prepared to participate in these conversations, and he “looks forward” to working with the Biden Administration’s willingness to “secure a significant investment” in the economy of Montana.
Per The Billings Gazette, Montana has the longest stretch of pipeline in the nation, alongside its 1,200 route.
While Tester acknowledges climate change, he indicated that he did not believe the Keystone Pipeline Project would significantly affect it.
Democratic Sen. Jon Tester on the Keystone XL pipeline: “I believe in climate change, but I also think that this one pipeline isn’t going to turn our climate around.” pic.twitter.com/TwNJD9rZ1w
— The Hill (@thehill) February 2, 2021