A group of western Republican U.S. lawmakers, including Rep. Matt Rosendale and Sen. Steve Daines, are urging President-elect Joe Biden to change his mind about blocking the Keystone XL pipeline shortly after he takes office.
Daines co-signed a letter with four other senators, John Barrasso and Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming and John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, asking Biden to support the pipeline, which would run partially through eastern Montana.
Biden, a Democrat, is reportedly planning to block the pipeline as one of his first actions after taking office Wednesday, according to Canada's CBC News.
Daines, Rosendale and the others argue that the pipeline is important to boost Montana's economy.
“Mr. President-elect, during the campaign you challenged America to “Build Back Better” by investing in new infrastructure and energy technologies, creating high-paying blue-collar jobs, and preparing for the energy mix of the future," Daines said in a statement. "With these and other commitments, Keystone XL meets that important test. We have to come together to find a way forward, to keep people working, while also creating a new standard for American energy infrastructure.”
“America's energy sector is important to our economy and critical to our national security by helping make us energy independent. This pipeline means a lot for our country and Montana. As we are in the midst of great economic uncertainty, I encourage President-elect Biden to reverse his proposed decision to cancel the Keystone XL Pipeline and the thousands of good-paying jobs it will provide.”
The Keystone XL pipeline would extend from the tar sands of Alberta, Canada, to an existing line in Nebraska. Pre-construction work has started at the northern border under a special permit authorized by the Trump administration.
In response to Biden's anticipated move, developer TC Energy has pledged $1.7 billion in renewable energy in building the pipeline.
Read Rosendale's letter here.
Read the letter from Daines and the other senators here.