Montana Public Radio

Keystone XL pipeline

Capitol Talk: Budget Puzzle, Lawsuits And The Limits Of Public Input

Mar 19, 2021

The many moving parts of the state budget have pushed lawmakers to extend the session — but Montana's Legislature isn't the state's only busy branch.

Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen has filed yet another lawsuit against the Biden Administration. At the same time, prominent Montanans are suing Gov. Greg Gianforte over his effort to directly appoint judges.

And, as a racist social media post by a Republican lawmaker resurfaces, Montanans are learning that overwhelming public opposition to legislation does not guarantee a bill's defeat.

Listen now on Capitol Talk with Sally Mauk, Holly Michels and Rob Saldin.

Montana’s attorney general is joining 20 other state attorneys general in suing to reverse Pres. Joe Biden’s decision to cancel a permit vital to building the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline.

Business owners and community members in northeastern Montana say they were looking forward to the added tax dollars and customer base the Keystone XL pipeline would have brought into the area before President Joe Biden cancelled a vital permit for the development.

Last week Montana’s governor visited Glasgow in Valley County and held a roundtable with local officials and business people there.

Montana's two senators are expected to split their votes on impeachment. The governor has lifted the state's mandatory mask mandate, and Attorney General Austin Knudsen joins the effort to reverse a Biden administration decision to halt the Keystone pipeline.

Listen now on Capitol Talk with Sally Mauk, Rob Saldin and Holly Michels.

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.

Keystone Pipeline pumping station in Nebraska.
Flickr user shannonpatrick17 http://bit.ly/2H4u5Kk (CC-BY-2) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Members of Montana’s congressional delegation are pushing-back on President Joe Biden’s decision to cancel the presidential permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Tuesday, Republican Sen. Steve Daines and Republican Rep. Matt Rosendale introduced legislation in the U.S. House and Senate that would authorize construction of the pipeline. 

Biden Cancels Keystone XL Border Crossing Permit

Jan 21, 2021

President Joe Biden followed through on a campaign promise on his first day in office and cancelled a permit required to build the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline.

One of Biden’s first executive orders included revoking the presidential permit Donald Trump granted Canadian developer TC Energy in 2019 to cross the international border into Montana.

County commissioners looking forward to incoming tax dollars expressed their disappointment at the decision, while environmental and tribal activists celebrated.

A Montana agency gave the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline the go ahead to cross water bodies in eastern Montana before the state could fully review over 650 public comments.

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality on Dec. 31 granted Canadian developer TC Energy a 401 Water Quality Certification to cross roughly 200 protected water bodies in Montana.

Federal law gives agencies up to a year to come to a decision on a certification.

A U.S. district court judge on Oct. 16 rejected tribes’ request for a temporary hold on construction of the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline in northern Montana.

The court will now determine whether President Donald Trump had authority to greenlight construction at the border between the United States and Canada.

Great Falls Judge Brian Morris said he won’t bar construction of a 1.2 mile section of pipe that crosses the U.S.-Canada border while he considers whether President Trump violated the U.S. constitution when he issued a 2019 permit.

Editor’s note: This story was updated Aug. 6, 2020 to include more detailed information about health and safety protocols TC Energy has required of its contracted workers, along with updated information from the Phillips County Health Department.

The developer of the Keystone XL oil pipeline confirmed Aug. 5 that two of its workers in northern Montana tested positive for the novel coronavirus last week.

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