Gabby Brown, email@example.com, 914-261-4626
Helena, MT -- Montana Governor Steve Bullock is reportedly allowing Canadian pipeline company TC Energy to move forward with construction of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline in Montana despite concerns about the spread of coronavirus among workers and in vulnerable rural and Tribal communities.
TC Energy has already begun to bring in hundreds of out-of-state workers to Montana to begin construction on the controversial pipeline this month. Ignoring calls from local communities and hundreds of Montanans from across the state to put construction on hold during the ongoing public health crisis, Bullock has categorized the pipeline as an “essential” project. This decision comes despite continued uncertainty for the pipeline, which still faces ongoing legal challenges and permitting hurdles.
In response, Sierra Club Montana Chapter Director Summer Nelson released the following statement:
“Access to clean water is essential. Healthcare is essential. Building a dirty tar sands pipeline through our communities while experts are urging us to isolate in order to protect people’s lives is absolutely not essential. The last thing Montana needs during this public health crisis is an onslaught of out-of-state workers potentially spreading coronavirus to already vulnerable rural and Tribal communities. An outbreak in these areas would quickly overtax Montana’s healthcare system and food supply and put those communities and healthcare workers at risk. Allowing TC Energy to recklessly move forward with construction on Keystone XL goes against Bullock’s otherwise proactive and appropriate efforts to prioritize Montanan’s health and safety. This was the wrong call, and we urge the governor to reconsider.”
About the Sierra Club
The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 3.5 million members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org.