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For the last eight years the Keystone XL Pipeline has been a topic of discussion. The pipeline would run from northern Alberta to America’s pipeline hub in Cushing, Oklahoma. It would supply America with crude oil from our largest trading partner and minimize the imports of oil from unfriendly and less stable parts of the world. Environmental analysis of the project concluded that impacts would be negligible. The project would put thousands of Americans to work, creating high paying jobs for skilled workers that are very much needed in today’s economy.

Montana would realize many benefits from the project. There are planned local on-ramps in Baker that would provide additional pipeline capacity for Bakken Crude. Keystone XL would also provide over $60 million a year in tax revenue to some of the poorest counties in Montana. This pipeline would be a clear win for America’s long-term petroleum needs and a clear win for Montana.

As we look to put Americans back to work and provide good paying jobs, the most recent U.S. Senate vote on Keystone was another disappointment in a long line of disappointments. While we were pleased to see Sen. Tester and outgoing Sen. Walsh vote in favor of the legislation, most Senate Democrats sided with extreme radical environmentalists and failed to support a good project for our country. Why is that? Why do D.C. Democrats continue to push a job-killing agenda that hurts Montana workers?

On Nov. 4, voters across America sent a clear message to these out-of-touch U.S. senators. From north to south and east to west, citizens insisted upon a different direction for our country. Radical environmentalist policies were soundly rejected by voters, as pro-energy and pro-job representatives and senators won elections across the United States.

After the elections, national Democrat senators appointed Jon Tester to head the Democrat Senatorial Campaign Committee. This position will eat up most of his time, with Tester begging for big-money donations from the same radical environmental groups working to stop the Keystone. He’ll turn around and use those funds to support anti-pipeline senators like Harry Reid and California’s Barbara Boxer. Why did Sen. Tester eagerly accept a position pushing for the re-election of these liberal Democrats if they are working to kill jobs in our state? When Sen. Tester accepted the DSCC role, he put the anti-Keystone policies of his Democrat colleagues ahead of Montana.

Will Deschamps is chairman of the Montana Republican Party.

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