Some Montana ranchers, union workers back Obama’s denial of Keystone Pipeline |

Some Montana ranchers, union workers back Obama’s denial of Keystone Pipeline

Montana ranchers, union workers back Obama Keystone denial

Farmers and ranchers in eastern Montana along the route of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, as well as refinery workers in the Billings area, commended President Obama for his decision to deny a permit for the controversial project.

Obama announced today that the Keystone XL pipeline would not receive the needed international permit to cross the United States, including eastern Montana.

“The State Department has decided that the Keystone XL Pipeline would not serve the national interest of the United States,” he said from the White House.

Agriculture protected

After many years of review, Trans Canada still did not have an Emergency Response Plan in place. The pipeline would have put agricultural land and waterways at risk.

Darrell Garoutte of McCone County, a rancher on what would have been the path of the Keystone XL pipeline, stated, “Congratulations to President Obama on his decision to deny TransCanada a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline. The pipeline proposal carried great risk to both safety and the environment, and ran rough shod over private property rights. The rewards from this project were always inflated, while the risks were often minimized. ‘Thank you’ to the president for making the right decision” Garoutte also represents Northern Plains Resource Council, a grassroots conservation and family agriculture group based in Billings.

“My land and the land of my neighbors are saved from the sacrifice we felt imminent with this pipeline. I am thankful that the president recognized that this pipeline is not needed now that the country has come leaps and bounds in developing renewable and domestic energy sources.”

Refinery jobs saved

Because Keystone XL would have routed oil to the Gulf Coast of Texas for export, it threatened American jobs.

“The denial of the Keystone XL permit is ultimately a very good thing for good paying, good benefits, good pension American refining jobs which would have begun to disappear should Keystone XL have been built,” stated J.W. Westman, a refinery worker in Billings and member of United Steelworkers Local 11-470.

“Because there was never an agreement that all of the oil shipped by Keystone XL was to be refined in the United States, and finished products consumed in the United States, I am pleased that the permit for this project was rejected,” said Keith Crookston, a refinery worker in Laurel and member of United Steelworkers 11-443.

TransCanada had asked the State Department Monday to suspend the review process for the pipeline while its route was evaluated in Nebraska. The State Department rejected that request.

–Northern Plains Resource Council