Press release: Rural Montana residents oppose Presidential Permit for Keystone XL – March 24, 2017
Northern Plains Resource Council
Yellowstone River farmers and members of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation oppose the Presidential Permit for the Keystone XL pipeline through eastern Montana. The Trump Administration signed the permit this morning.
“There have been so many pipeline leaks everywhere that to think it’s not going to happen here, is just sticking your head in the sand,” said Dena Hoff, a spokesperson for Northern Plains Resource Council and an irrigated farmer from Glendive. “In January of 2015 Bridger Pipeline had a leak of at least 30,000 gallons of crude oil into the Yellowstone River below my sheep pasture. This was a 12-inch pipeline. Imagine a leak from a 36-inch pipeline.
“The Keystone XL is a money pot for a few, and certainly not in the national interest.
“The proposed pipeline will go under the Yellowstone upriver from our irrigated farm. Many downstream farmers, ranchers, and municipalities, as well as wildlife and fish, depend on that Yellowstone River water for life.”
Tribes fear threat to water system
Bill Whitehead of Wolf Point is the Chairman of the Water Board Commission of the Fort Peck Tribes. He is concerned about the effects of a spill on the water for northeastern Montana.
“We all should be concerned as members of Assiniboine and Sioux tribes – the water, air, and land is a part of our identity,” said Whitehead. “Every pipeline will break sooner or later, and we know the tar-sands is particularly problematic to clean up.”
The intake for the water project, the Assiniboine Sioux Rural Water Supply System, is located on the Missouri River downstream from where the Keystone XL will cross.
“If there was a leak in the pipeline it could ruin our water treatment plant and therefore 30,000 people’s water,” Whitehead added.
“It’s hard to see any benefit to the Assiniboine and Sioux people. We are concerned about the effect it’s going to have on our future generations – that’s what we’re concerned about: our future. This is our home.”