Tester salutes oil industry – Sidney Herald-Leader

Sidney Herald-Leader
Guest Column
Sen. Jon Tester
April 29, 2012

Thank you for the chance to join the Sidney Herald in saluting Montana’s oil industry.

On my recent visit to Richland Coun­ty to tour the oil rigs and see the latest developments, I witnessed the promise of responsible energy development and met the hardworking people ready to power eastern Montana’s economy for generations.

To all those who hire Montanans, and to all who contribute to eastern Mon­tana’s growing economy: Thank you.

Montanans know responsible energy production plays a key role in the re­building of America’s economy. It will remain an important part of our future. In and around Sidney, that means oil and natural gas development. It means good-paying jobs.

Responsible energy development will increase our energy security and create jobs. It will also spur small businesses, new technologies and new opportunities.

That’s why I support building the Keystone XL Pipeline. Responsibly building the pipeline will help eastern Montana to reach its full economic potential. The pipeline’s on-ramp at Baker will deliver up to 100,000 barrels of Bakken oil per day to market. Today, Bakken oil is getting less than market value because of shipping constraints – Keystone XL will help fix that.

In the last four months, I have voted to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline three times. I am disappointed that Congress and the president cannot work together to support this common sense project. Built with respect for private property rights and to the highest safety standards, the pipeline will safeguard our most treasured places and increase our energy independence.

I will keep fighting for the Keystone XL pipeline. In the meantime, I’m pushing TransCanada to begin training workers right here in Montana. Mon­tanans are ready to work and have all the skills and work experience needed to begin construction once we get the green light, and to operate the pipeline for years to come.

I am also pushing to improve in east­ern Montana’s infrastructure. Energy development is increasing demand for services across the region, and I will continue to partner with the region’s mayors and county commissioners as they work to improve roads, housing and public safety to support oil and gas development.

The people of Sidney and Richland County know the oil business and know what it takes to strengthen our econo­my. I look forward to working with you to responsibly develop our oil resources, cut our dependence on foreign oil, and Create jobs that will help rebuild the entire economy of this nation.

Until then, be well, take care, and thanks again for being a valuable part of Montana’s economy.