I want to praise President Barack Obama for his decision and standing with tribes and landowners by rejecting the Keystone Pipeline XL. This decision reflects the need for an additional supplemental Final Environmental Impact Statement that would study many of the remaining needs such as:
· An Emergency Response Plan;
· A study of the corrosiveness of tar sands oil pipelines in light of the 14 spills on the Keystone I pipeline which began operations in June 2010;
· Assurance that pipeline thickness will be the same in rural areas along the pipeline as in highly populated areas.
The President had announced that he and the State Department would need until the 2013 to adequately review public safety and environmental impacts from the project. A Presidential Permit is needed because the privately owned pipeline would cross the U.S. border. Congress passed legislation that would have forced Obama to make a premature decision on the pipeline by Feb. 21.
There is a coalition of tribe’s THPO’s (Tribal Historic Preservation Offices) that gathered recently, opposing the Keystone Pipeline Project. Their opposition was concerning to a few historic sites along the keystone corridor. I’m hoping that when this adequate review takes place, the tribal THPO’s are at the table.
The members of The Northern Plains Pipeline Landowners Group, a committee of Northern Plains Resource Council, is a group of landowners crossed by the proposed Keystone XL pipeline who have organized to negotiate with TransCanada an equitable contract which protects landowners and public safety. I want to thank organizations such as this for the due diligence needed projects that have such a huge impact, across the broad spectrum of Montanans. We, as Montanans need to step up and support this decision, to make sure all Montanans interests remain intact.
Sen. Jonathan Windy Boy
Senate District 16