Montana’s Attorney General is seeking to enter a lawsuit in support of the Keystone XL Pipeline.
The Attorney General of Montana, Republican Tim Fox, is throwing Montana behind the pipeline and petitioning to intervene in the lawsuit in support of its construction. That’s because Fox, who’s running for governor, says Montana has a unique economic interest at stake.
“Both directly because of tax revenues and indirectly because of the jobs it’ll create and the boost it’ll give to the economy,” Fox says.
That’s a position the state says it can better argue than the federal government, according to the motion submitted to the district judge Monday.
The pipeline’s construction would create an estimated 4,000 construction jobs lasting an average of four months, according to the U.S. State Department.
The lawsuit is one of three remaining legal challenges to the oil pipeline, all of which are being heard by the same federal judge in Great Falls. Other suing parties include the Fort Belknap Indian Community.
In status report filed last week, TransCanada, the pipeline’s owner, informed the court it intends to start pre-construction activities like weeding this month.
A hearing for a separate lawsuit by the Indigenous Environmental Network challenging the pipeline is scheduled for Thursday.
Olivia Reingold is Yellowstone Public Radio’s Report for America corps member.