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Rural Research Group Weighs Keystone Pipeline Pros and Cons

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Monday, October 18, 2010   

HELENA, Mont. - The lure of good-paying jobs is strong for Montana, but not strong enough for a rural research organization to back plans for the Keystone X-L pipeline. The Center for Rural Affairs (CFRA) is out with official opposition to a federal permit to build the pipeline from Alberta, Canada, through Montana and on to the Gulf Coast.

CFRA media director John Crabtree says they carefully considered the rural economic development potential, as well as the risks to landowners affected by the project.

"The economic benefit of the jobs created in building the pipeline and servicing and maintaining it over time - we don't think that those economic benefits outweigh the potential environmental damage."

TransCanada is running advertising campaigns in several states touting the economic benefits of jobs and tax revenue. Crabtree says his organization would rather see resources poured into local renewable energy projects.

"We support developing clean energy resources that we have right here in places like Montana, and we should be looking at decreasing our reliance on foreign energy sources."

Another strike against the pipeline, according to Crabtree: the EPA estimates that squeezing oil from the tar sands in Canada and delivering it to U.S. refineries would result in nearly double the greenhouse gas emissions as other oil delivered to U.S. refineries.

CFRA outlines the pipeline's pros and cons at www.cfra.org.




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