The Billings Outpost

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On July 26, the U.S. House passed the bill House Resolution 1938, the North American-Made Energy Security Act. This bill sets an arbitrary date of Nov. 26, 2011, for approval of TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline, which would cross Montana and several other states, on the way to Houston, Texas.

HR 1938 will force this decision to be made with no concern for the public safety and health issues that still concern landowners along the route.

So how did Montana Rep. Dennis Rehberg vote on this bill? He voted to pass it. Not only did he vote for passage, but helped vote down 11 amendments that would have made the pipeline safer.

Some would say that pipelines are totally safe. Consider this: The Keystone I pipeline has had, in its first year of operation, at least 12 leaks. Is it a fluke that another pipeline, Bison, has had serious subsidence issues and a major explosion in northeast Wyoming?

Is HR 1938 a “jobs bill”? Perhaps it will be just that; when Keystone XL is put into operation, a large number of people could be required to clean up Eastern Montana. Otherwise, for normal operation, the estimate is that it will create about 10 permanent jobs in Montana.

Rep. Rehberg should not be voting to degrade America’s public health and safety to profit a foreign company such as TransCanada.

Paul Miller



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