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Attorneys General Seek Reconsideration Of Pipeline Permit Cancellation

Miles of unused pipe, prepared for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, sit in a lot outside Gascoyne, N.D., in 2014.
Andrew Burton
Getty Images
Miles of unused pipe, prepared for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, sit in a lot outside Gascoyne, N.D., in 2014.

Fourteen Republican attorneys general, including Montana’s, are protesting Pres. Joe Biden’s decision to cancel a border crossing permit vital to construction of the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline.

Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen in a letter to the president Tuesday urged Biden to reconsider the permit cancellation.

Knudsen says the president’s choice deprives states and Montana’s rural eastern counties of future tax revenue.

“You’re talking about schools, police, fire departments, and with a stroke of the pen, Pres. Biden says that’s gone. Sorry, thanks for playing," Knudsen says.

He says the permit cancellation also kills jobs.

The KXL pipeline would create roughly 3,900 direct jobs in Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas over one or two years of construction, according to the U.S. Department of State in 2014. The same Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement says the pipeline would create about 50 jobs during operations.

The Keystone XL would pass through Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska. Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson did not sign onto the letter.

In cancelling the permit, Biden said the pipeline would do little to benefit the country’s energy security and economy and approving it would undermine the administration’s efforts to fight climate change.

In their letter, signees say they’re reviewing legal options.

Copyright 2021 Yellowstone Public Radio

Kayla Desroches reports for Yellowstone Public Radio in Billings. She was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, and stayed in the city for college, where she hosted a radio show that featured serialized dramas like the Shadow and Suspense. In her pathway to full employment, she interned at WNYC in New York City and KTOO in Juneau, Alaska. She then spent a few years on the island of Kodiak, Alaska, where she transitioned from reporter to news director before moving to Montana.
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