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MT Landowner Doing a ‘Happy Dance’ Over Keystone XL Decision

January 19, 2012

GLENDIVE, Mont. - The Keystone XL pipeline is a no-go - for now. President Obama and the U.S. Department of State have rejected the special permit for the project, saying more time is needed to adequately analyze environmental concerns.

Sandy Barnick is a farmer in Glendive whose land would be crossed by the pipeline.

"I'm actually real happy that the president has listened to the people and reviewed the data that has come in."

Barnick says her family and other members of the Northern Plains Pipeline Landowners Group are still waiting for safety details - and will continue to push for them when the company applies for the permit again. She explains that there has never been a publicly available emergency response plan, and the group has other concerns related to protecting farm and ranch lands that would be affected during a spill.

"Our point is, why would we harm our state's number one economy for any project? Especially one that's foreign-owned and for a foreign for-profit, private entity."

She also makes the point that the oil coming from Canada is not guaranteed for U.S. consumption. She thinks that has been overlooked.

"This oil product is not for domestic use. It never has been, it never will be. This is for export - it has been from the beginning."

TransCanada has issued a release saying the company will reapply for the permit. The company has promoted the project as a job-creator, although Barnick says the company's own documents show only "up to 15 percent" of the jobs will go to locals during construction, and there are no local job guarantees for permanent positions.

The state department release regarding the permit denial is at

Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - MT