Tester on Keystone XL: ‘Time to move this ball forward’

Senator includes language to protect private property rights in bipartisan pipeline provision

(U.S. SENATE) – U.S. Senator Jon Tester today released the following statement in response to the passage of legislation that requires a quicker decision from the President of the United States on the permitting of the Keystone XL Pipeline. Tester specifically modified the final language to strengthen protections for private property rights.

“Montana needs the Keystone XL project to begin now because it will create jobs and energy security. With stronger protections for private property, it’s time to move this ball forward, and I will remain vigilant that the highest safety and environmental standards are respected. The President should not veto this bipartisan bill, and he should allow this pipeline to move forward.

“I support Keystone XL because I support Montana jobs. Whether in eastern Montana with the Keystone Pipeline or western Montana with the popular Forest Jobs and Recreation Act—Montana’s delegation should be united in pushing for guaranteed jobs. It’s the responsible thing to do.”

The Keystone provision, modified by Tester, was included in a bipartisan bill that extends the existing middle-class payroll tax holiday. It requires the President to make a decision on the pipeline within 60 days after he signs the bill into law.  Without this provision, President Obama plans to delay the decision until January of 2013—a move Tester has criticized.

Earlier this week, Tester called on his colleagues and the president to approve the Keystone XL pipeline saying Montanans “should not have to wait until January of 2013 for a decision that can create American jobs right now.” The bill now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.