Montana Public Radio

Attorneys General Seek Reconsideration Of Pipeline Permit Cancellation

Feb 9, 2021
Originally published on February 9, 2021 7:11 pm

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.

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