NBC Montana: Tester urges President Biden to reverse course on Keystone Pipeline

U.S. Senator Jon Tester is urging President Joe Biden to reconsider his decision to cancel the presidential permit for the Keystone XL pipeline and asking him to sit down with stakeholders – including Montana’s Tribes – to chart a path forward on the job-creating project together.

Tester has long supported the Keystone XL pipeline, which has the potential to support thousands of good-paying Montana jobs and would increase tax revenue for local communities in Eastern Montana.

“I am writing to encourage you to reconsider your decision to cancel the presidential permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline,” Tester wrote. “This project has the potential to support thousands of good paying jobs, increase tax revenue into local communities, and support a safer, more efficient alternative to transporting fossil fuel by truck or railroad. The completion of the Keystone XL Pipeline would be a powerful economic driver for Montana. I continue to support this project as long it is built to the highest safety standards, uses American steel, respects private property rights, and includes robust consultation with Tribes.”

Tester has consistently called on TC Energy to ensure the project is held to the highest safety standards, and has facilitated discussions with Montana’s Tribes regarding their concerns with the current route and related community safety and water quality concerns.

“With a straightforward conversation and commonsense safeguards, I believe we can make adjustments to the proposed project that will provide even stronger protections for people and clean water, while still supporting jobs and economic development along the pipeline route,” Tester concluded. “I stand ready to help facilitate these conversations, and look forward to working with you to safely secure a significant investment in Montana’s economy.”

Tester recently criticized Biden’s decision to cancel the pipeline permit, and has fought for years to complete the project, including voting for the project in 2015 when it was before the Senate, as well as to override President Obama’s veto of the project later that year.