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PNS Daily Newscast - October 22, 2018 


The Trump administration moves to narrow the definition of sexual identity. Also on the Monday rundown: is climate change causing a shift eastward for Tornado Alley? Plus Election Day should find more polling places on Nevada Tribal Lands.

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Keystone Pipeline Protest Today in Great Falls

Farmer Dena Hoff, who opposes the Keystone XL project, surveys the Yellowstone River from her property, which was negatively affected by a ruptured pipeline in 2015. (Northern Plains Resource Council)
Farmer Dena Hoff, who opposes the Keystone XL project, surveys the Yellowstone River from her property, which was negatively affected by a ruptured pipeline in 2015. (Northern Plains Resource Council)
May 23, 2018

GREAT FALLS, Mont. - A hearing on the Keystone XL pipeline is set for Thursday in federal court in Great Falls, so opponents are rallying today at a local park.

President Donald Trump approved the pipeline right after he took office, but it has been held up by lawsuits. The pipeline would transport tar sands oil from Canada through Montana to refineries on the Gulf Coast.

Dena Hoff, whose farm near Glendive was negatively affected by 50,000 gallons of crude from an unrelated pipeline break in 2015, said she thinks the Keystone XL would be a much larger threat to the water supply along the Yellowstone, Missouri and Milk rivers.

"I have seen what damage the rupture of the 12-inch pipeline caused, and can't even imagine risking damage to three of the most historic, iconic and economically important rivers in the United States by running a 36-inch pipeline under them," said Hoff, a member of the Dawson Resource Council, an affiliate of the Northern Plains Resource Council.

The rally is to start at 4:30 p.m. at Elks Riverside Park.

Pipeline supporters are convinced Keystone XL will be safe and generate jobs and tax income. The lawsuits ask the judge to invalidate cross-border permits issued by the State Department and Bureau of Land Management, alleging that the agencies failed to do legally required environmental studies.

Bill Whitehead, a member of the Northern Plains Resource Council, board member of the North Coast Rivers Alliance and member of the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Nation, said he feels the pipeline would trample on tribal sovereignty.

"We've got a story to tell - the Assinboine Sioux people. We're talking about our very existence," he said. "This is our home, our ancestral home, time immemorial."

Whitehead said tar-sands oil is much heavier than other types of oil, meaning it would sink and be harder to clean up in the event of a spill. He added that the pipeline would perpetuate the use of fossil fuels, which contribute to climate change.

The lawsuit is online at sierraclub.org.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - MT