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Conservatives call for reviving Keystone XL, but pipeline company moves on: NPR



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A popular conservative talking point on rising gas prices and the crisis in Ukraine calls for the United States to revive the Keystone XL pipeline. President Biden revoked his license on his first day in office under pressure from tribal members and environmental activists. Despite calls to reverse the trend, the company behind Keystone XL is busy liquidating assets. Arielle Zionts with reporting from South Dakota Public Broadcasting.

ARIELLE ZIONTS, BYLINE: As soon as oil prices skyrocketed after Russia invaded Ukraine, conservative politicians across the country began beating the drums to revive Keystone XL.

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KRISTI NOEM: When he canceled the Keystone Pipeline on the first day of his presidency, he sent a clear message to Putin.

MIKE ROUNDS: President Biden should come back and authorize the pipelines, which he stopped during his first days in office. The Keystone XL is an example of this.

JOE MANCHIN: We should have built that pipeline. I still think we should build that pipeline.

ZIONTS: It was Governor Kristi Noem and Senator Mike Rounds of South Dakota and Senator of West Virginia Joe Manchin. Not in front of the cameras, however, was Bill Taylor, an attorney representing TC Energy, the pipeline company. He spoke at a court hearing in South Dakota this week, securing the return of a $15 million road bond.

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BILL TAYLOR: I have to tell you, I never thought I’d be here to call for the project to be stopped. I always thought I’d be here to tell you the oil was flowing.

ZIONTS: Keystone XL was supposed to transport oil from the Canadian tar sands through Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska to refineries in the Gulf of Mexico. Experts have said most of the crude would have been processed at refineries in the Gulf, but there is debate over whether most of the final product would have been sold in the United States or in overseas markets. TC Energy has already removed underground lines in Montana, sold land in South Dakota and dropped an eminent domain case in Nebraska. Yet Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte joined the chorus this week, writing to the White House asking Biden to endorse the pipeline. For NPR News, I’m Arielle Zionts in Rapid City.

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