Thousands in Montana Call for Approval of Keystone XL

HELENA – Today the Montana Chamber of Commerce, in conjunction with Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA), announced it had submitted 5,498 public comments from Montana residents supporting construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. The comments were submitted to the U.S. Department of State, which must issue the final necessary permit to allow the Keystone XL project to proceed.

In response, Jon Bennion, Government Relations Director for the Montana Chamber of Commerce, issued the following statement:

“Montanans are overwhelmingly supportive of new energy infrastructure and economic development. In the Montana Chamber’s annual scientific poll of likely voters, three-quarters of Montanans want government to actively encourage new oil and gas development. The Keystone XL will not only provide hundreds of jobs for Montanans and decrease America’s dependence on oil from unstable countries, it will transport Montana oil from the Bakken region to refineries without the significant discount producers are currently paying. This project is win-win for the Treasure State.”

To further this call, CEA Executive Vice President Michael Whatley also issued this statement:

“The Keystone XL pipeline will be the safest pipeline ever built in the United States, and construction will help create more than 20,000 jobs nationwide. The pipeline will also generate more than $20 billion in new economic growth for the struggling U.S. economy. The 700,000 barrels of oil per day that will flow through Keystone XL will help reduce fuel prices for families coast to coast, and dramatically improve our energy security by reducing our reliance on Middle Eastern oil. The comments that we submitted today from thousands of Montana citizens reflect what people across the country are saying: We need jobs, we need a stronger economy, and we need to build the Keystone XL pipeline.”

The 1,700-mile proposed Keystone XL pipeline would deliver 700,000 barrels of U.S. and Canadian crude oil per day to refineries along the Gulf Coast in Texas.  Keystone XL received approval from Canada’s National Energy Board in 2010, but the project also requires a Presidential Permit from the U.S. Department of State because it crosses an international border. In June, CEA delivered more than 62,000 public comments supporting the project to the State Department, all of which came from people living in the six states through which the proposed pipeline will travel: Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.