Dear Gov. Bullock,

I was quite dismayed after reading your response to the question about whether or not you could support the Keystone XL pipeline. You said something such as, "If it can be done right."

The most under-told story about this project and tar sands oil is the amount of water it takes to refine tar sands oil into something usable. I suggest you have someone on your staff find that information for you. For example, in 2011, companies mining the tar sands siphoned approximately 370 million cubic meters of water from the Athabasca River alone, which was heated or converted into steam to separate the viscous oil, or bitumen, from sand formations. That is about triple the amount of water Montanans use every year for domestic uses.

Basically, it in a time where water is truly more valuable than oil, to deplete one irreplaceable resource to refine a replaceable one seems unconscionable.

I hope you will reconsider your answer.

Steve Guettermann