“If There Is No Pipeline, There Is No Future”

July 2, 2014

Praying for #KeystoneXL: NBC News Highlights One Small Montana Town’s Desperate Opportunity

NBC News highlights the meaning of Keystone XL for a small town in Montana located right on the proposed route of the landmark project. The residents of this community have struggled to keep their small metropolis thriving, and the Keystone XL pipeline offers an answer to their prayers for economic revival. Circle, Montana, has struggled since the 1960’s, and NBC News took an in depth look into its plight. “If there is no pipeline, there is no future,” said Denny Hogan, the commander of VFW Post 4813. “End of conversation.” A county commissioner called Keystone XL a “God-send” due to its potential to bring thousands of new jobs to and millions of dollars in revenue to the region.

Folks in Circle, Montana are hopeful Keystone XL can turn around their town. Construction of Keystone’s southern half – the Gulf Coast project – generated billions in new economic activity for communities in Texas and Oklahoma. With more than 2100 days on the clock, the residents of Circle, and other communities around the nation are in need of the thousands of jobs and economic opportunities that would come from this project, if only the president would pick up his pen and approve it. 

July 1, 2014

In McCone County the tax jackpot would be worth a Montana-high $18 million… In other words, TransCanada would instantly become Circle’s largest taxpayer, doubling the base in year one, and flooding the prairie with thousands of new jobs… About 1,500 of those would pipeline-related, mostly in construction… But another 2,200 jobs are expected to grow from those, giving McCone County the equivalent of several years of paydays and clanging cash registers in a single dose.

Main Street, Montana: Small Towns Pray for Keystone XL Pipeline

CIRCLE, Mont.—Sally Hickok wasn’t planning to spend money on Main Street, even if it was Garage Sale day in this small town on the eastern prairie. The 56-year-old judge had no need for a used prom dress or a second-hand porta potty. But once inside the community center, she started chatting with neighbors, who were selling the town’s junk for charity—and she walked out with six half-empty bottles of colored nail polish.

She can’t exactly say why, but it isn’t so complicated: there’s just something different about shopping on Main Street, that wide and inviting roadbed that seems to run through the marrow of America. It’s a place where you don’t just run errands, you create community. And if you are anything like Sally Hickok, you buy that old toe paint because it’s the neighborly thing to do. …

The town hangs like a charm on the proposed route of the Keystone XL, a pipeline that would double the flow of oil from Canada to American refineries in Texas. This $6 billion steel straw would dive under Montana, South Dakota, and Nebraska, before joining an existing southern leg that connects to the Gulf Coast. This alone requires hundreds of private land owners to sign off, no easy political feat. But because the pipeline also crosses an international border, it requires what has so far eluded TransCanada, the project’s developer: a presidential permit.

Recently, after a tortured half-decade-long process, the Obama administration pushed off its decision indefinitely. The State Department said it needed more time to review a record number of public comments and watch a Nebraska court case that could redirect the pipeline’s path through the state. …

If we don’t tap it, however, it might well be game over for a whole necklace of small towns and Main Streets along the pipeline’s route, Circle chief among them. The eastern part of Montana used to thrive by local standards. Built up by turn of the 20th century homesteaders, it soon supported the country’s largest outlet for John Deere farm equipment, according to local lore. But more recently the area has been caught in a spiral of decline. As costs have risen, farms have grown in an effort gouge out efficiencies and diversify, but fewer people are around to work the extra land and added crops. …

“If there is no pipeline, there is no future,” said Denny Hogan, the commander of VFW Post 4813. “End of conversation.” …

Read the article online HERE.