Posted: Sep 28, 2011 7:27 AM by Angela Douglas
Updated: Sep 28, 2011 7:27 AM
GLENDIVE, MT - Approximately 1,000 people were expected at the TransCanada Keystone XL Pipeline public meeting with the U.S. Department of State, but in reality only about 300 people filed into the Dawson Community College gymnasium late Tuesday afternoon. Although the turnout in Glendive was smaller than expected, the statements from union members, land owners, concerned citizens, and politicians were anything but.
Decked out in bright orange t-shirts, more than 100 members of LiUNA (Laborers International Union of North America) created a strong presence at the meeting as they cheered for supporters of the pipeline.
Congressman Denny Rehberg kicked off the meeting, stating, "the XL pipeline is very important in job creation for Montana and securing the future of America."
Yellowstone County Commissioner Bill Kennedy spoke on behalf of MT Governor Brian Schweitzer. The Governor says the pipeline is, "in the best interest of America.". According to Kennedy, the Yellowstone County Commissioners are also in favor of the project.
Job creation and economic development is appealing to northeastern Montana counties that have little or no source of revenues.
Supporters are eager for 20,000 new jobs that the $7 billion project will reportedly create, but according to a handful of pipeline protesters, the majority of those jobs will not go to Americans.
"They're lying to us about jobs. Only about 1,000 of those 20,000 jobs will go to Americans," claimed one Livingston woman.
Concerns were also raised about the environmental impact of the pipeline.
More than 50 people spoke at the meeting, which served as a listening session for the U.S. State Department. the meeting encouraged the public to their opinion on whether the proposed Keystone XL pipeline is in the U.S. national interest and is worthy of a Presidential Permit.
The proposed pipeline would transport approximately 830,000 barrels of oil per day through six states between between Canada and the Gulf of Mexico.