Montana Democratic Sen. Jon Tester said Monday he is a supporter of the Keystone XL Pipeline, in a clear break from President Joe Biden’s executive order that halted its construction.
Tester appeared on “CNN Newsroom” and was asked by host Poppy Harlow if it was a mistake for the Biden administration to cancel the project. She mentioned that some supporters of the pipeline say the decision could impact “11,000 American jobs.”
“Look, I’ve been a supporter of the Keystone Pipeline, and there has been two caveats, and they have been basic caveats. You do it to the safest standards and you respect private property rights,” Tester responded.
“I think the Keystone Pipeline folks could have done a better job getting the Fort Peck tribe on board and they need to continue working to do that. But in the end, I think it’s a good project,” he explained.
Biden signed the executive order on his first day in office, which canceled a presidential permit that was granted for the pipeline and crucial for its construction. This angered some trade unions that supported Biden in his campaign and brought criticism from some lawmakers who accused Biden of putting the interests of other countries’ energy markets first.
Tester went on to say that he believed in climate change, but stopping “this one pipeline” wasn’t going to fix the situation or make it worse. He also supports research and “taking steps to stop the amount of CO2 that’s going in the air.”
“I will tell you, in my real life I’m a farmer, and we’re not where we need to be in this country for replacing diesel fuel with something else in a tractor, for example, or in a semi that’s going down the road,” Tester continued. “We’ll get there but it is going to take some good policies from Washington, D.C. And it is going to take some money invested in R&D.”