In the wake of the announcement earlier this week that President Joe Biden would revoke the presidential permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, officials in North Dakota and Montana reacted strongly.
Montana Governor Greg Gianforte urged Biden to reconsider.
“A symbolic gesture for your fledgling, hours-old administration, this decision has real and devastating consequences in Montana,” he said. “With your executive order, gone are the thousands of good-paying American jobs, hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue to support our local communities and schools, the opportunity to advance America’s green energy infrastructure, and America’s energy security.”
Gianforte added that the decision itself is counter both to Biden’s campaign slogans to “build back better” and to environmental safety itself.
“With its construction terminated, the oil will still reach markets in the U.S. and around the globe. Without a pipeline, though, it will be transported more slowly by trucks and other means, endangering the environment, delaying delivery and making it more expensive for consumers who are struggling to make ends meet amid the pandemic.”
Rep. Kelly Armstrong, R-N.D., said Biden’ decision flies in the face of calls for unity.
“The United States has become a world energy leader because of commonsense decisions like moving forward with constructing the Keystone XL pipeline, allowing responsible development of the ANWR Coastal Plain, and removing our nation from the onerous and unfair Paris Climate Agreement,” he said. “Biden’s plans to sideline vital energy infrastructure and bring us into a one-sided climate deal that further restricts our farmers and ranchers will only serve to push our country down while we are struggling to recover from a global pandemic. We know that our farmers, ranchers, and all North Dakotans care for the land and communities they are a part of, and they don’t need more burdensome federal regulations jeopardizing their livelihoods.
Rep. Matt Rosendale, R-Montana, said the decision heightens already high levels of uncertainty and economic insecurity.
“America’s energy sector is important to our economy and critical to our national security by helping make us energy independent,” he said. “This pipeline means a lot for our country and Montana. As we are in the midst of great economic uncertainty, I encourage President-elect Biden to reverse his proposed decision to cancel the Keystone XL Pipeline and the thousands of good-paying jobs it will provide.”
Sen. Steve Daine, R-Montana, blasted the decision as irresponsible, and also criticized the decision to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord.
“It’s only day one, and with a stroke of a pen, Biden has already taken steps to kill American energy projects like the Keystone XL Pipeline, which is critical to energy-producing states like Montana,” he said. “This project will create thousands of jobs, generate tax revenue for local communities, promote North American energy security and independence, and it is the safest and most environmentally friendly way to transport oil.” We must do all that we can to ensure construction moves forward.”
Daines said he will introduce legislation to authorize continued construction of the pipeline, along with several other senators, a list that included Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D.
Hoeven’s office had not yet sent out a statement. We will update this story to include it as soon as it is received.
Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., said the order was ironic.
“Hours ago, President Biden bemoaned the loss of millions of jobs and promised to put people back to work, but now he’s taking action to eliminate thousands more,” he said. “This is an early mistake by the President and a nod to far-left environmental extremists. I urge him to reconsider his approach.”
Sen. Jon Tester, D-Montana, said Biden should not have made a decision without hearing from all parties first.
“I continue to support the responsible development of the pipeline, as long ass it is constructed with American steel, built to the highest safety standards, respects private property rights, and includes significant consultation with impacted Tribes,” Tester said.