Tester still supports pipeline

Sidney Herald

by Bill Vander Weele

During a press teleconference last week, U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont, said he is still in favor of building the TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline.

“Absolutely,” Tester said when asked by the Herald if he supports the project.

The proposed Keystone XL pipeline could transport up to 830,000 barrels per day, 65,000 of which could come from Montana. If permitted, it would begin operation in 2013.
Tester, however, wants to make sure two issues are taken care of when the pipeline is created. He said the pipe must be of the same quality in rural areas as in urban areas, and the company should treat farmers/ranchers fairly.

“Private property rights are important to me,” Tester said. He noted farmers/ranchers shouldn’t get “lowballed” from the company. “If that ends up happening, I will pull my support in a heartbeat.”

The senator added, “If they start running over landowners, that’s not good and positive. They don’t need to do it.”

On another issue discussed during the teleconference, Tester said he still is working to add more jobs and decrease the country’s deficit.

“There’s way too much politics and not enough policy to move the country forward,” Tester said.

The senator added when he talked to Montanans, many said they don’t mind feeling some pain but they don’t want to feel all the pain.

“It has to be a balanced approach to move forward,” Tester said.