Governor Brian Schweitzer is pleased that TransCanada is moving forward with constructing a pipeline from Cushing, Oklahoma to Port Author, Texas and applying for a separate permit with the State Department. The new application will include Montana's portion of the project that is an investment of over $1 billion and will help create 1,200 high-paying construction jobs.
"This is an important pipeline for Montana's economy. The proposed Keystone XL pipeline will help increase domestic oil production with the development of a $100 million, 100,000 barrel-a-day onramp in Baker, Montana. In addition, the construction will bring hundreds of new energy construction jobs, over $1 billion in investment, and nearly $60 million a year in new tax revenue to Montana communities," said Schweitzer.
The 36-inch pipeline would extend through the eastern Montana counties of Phillips, Valley, McCone, Dawson, Prairie and Fallon. The Keystone XL pipeline will have approximately 281 miles located within Montana. According to estimates, property taxes on the pipeline could bring as much as $60 million dollars annually to schools, counties, and the state.
"When the Nebraska Legislature called a special session to re-route the pipeline, they took the wheels off the bus and again delayed this project," Schweitzer explained. "The State Department couldn't approve a pipeline to nowhere. Nebraska has to find a new route before it can be approved and ultimately built."
Last December the State of Montana approved the construction of the pipeline after TransCanada agreed to a $100 million bond to protect citizens against any unforeseen accidents. The company also agreed, after several meetings convened by the Governor with producers and TransCanada, to construct a 100,000 barrel-a-day onramp in Baker, Montana.
"It is time to put boots on the ground to get the Keystone XL pipeline underway, not only for the conflict-free energy from our friendly neighbors to the north, but for the single largest oil play in the United States--the Bakken," said Schweitzer.