“It’s going to get built”
In an interview with Canadian media last year, Brain Schweitzer explained that the Keystone XL Pipeline is not currently being built because of jackasses. Specifically, the jackasses in Washington:
Montana’s governor says the Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta’s oil sands to the Gulf Coast will eventually be built and he blames the delay on “jackasses” in Washington who have only recently discovered the issue.
“Blah, blah, blah, Washington, D.C., politics. If you want to get something a) not done and b) cussed and discussed, send it to Washington, D.C.,” Gov. Brian Schweitzer, a Democrat, said in an interview with The Canadian Press. “It’s going to get built.
The anticipation for Schweitzer’s announcement that he’s charging into the race for Baucus’ seat is getting almost giddy. There is immense pressure from Montana Democrats to enlist Schweitzer, wallop Republicans, then send Montana’s coal cowboy to join an institution he regularly disparaged.
Does Brian acknowledge any legitimacy to those expressing their concerns about the pipeline project? From the interview:
“Ninety per cent of these jackasses that are complaining about the Keystone pipeline in Washington, D.C., one year ago wouldn’t have even known where the Keystone was. While we were doing the heavy lifting here in Montana and in South Dakota and in Kansas and Oklahoma … in Washington, D.C. … all these great defenders had never heard of Keystone before.”
If empty rhetoric is heavy lifting, then Brian Schweitzer really got a good workout when he went all populist for the cameras in the wake of Exxon’s pipeline rupture which bled 44,000 gallons of oil into the Yellowstone River. John Adams, in a post at the Lowdown, put Schweitzer’s barking in the broader context it deserved:
Gov. Brian Schweitzer has taken a tough public stance against ExxonMobil in the days following the 44,000 gallon Yellowstone River oil spill. Schweitzer has said he’ll be on Exxon “like smell on skunk” and that the Yellowstone River won’t be clean, “until Montana says it’s clean.” Schweitzer has publically accused Exxon officials of not being transparent, directing security guards to keep the press away from the unified command center, and not being honest about the true nature of the spill. He’s said that the company’s interests “are not aligned with Montana’s interest,” and that ExxonMobil officials’ “primary goal here was to limit the liability to the shareholders, not to be straightforward with the details of the spill and subsequent cleanup.”
One Politico headline initially proclaimed that “Montana gov has boot on neck of ExxonMobil,” though the headline was recently changed to somewhat less hyperbolic “Montana gov on ExxonMobil like ‘smell on a skunk.’”
Many environmental groups – including representatives from the National Wildlife Federation on a conference call to reporters last week — have lauded Schweitzer for his hard-line approach to dealing with ExxonMobil during the disaster.
But others have accused Schweitzer of talking out of both sides of his mouth on the issue. They cite Schweitzer’s ardent support for coal, oil and gas development in Montana, his backing of ExxonMobil’s plan to truck more than 200 massive Korean-built tar sands processing modules across the state into Canada, and his support for Keystone XL pipeline, which would pipe Canadian tar sands crude (the same type of crude that fouled the Kalamazoo River when an Enbridge Energy pipeline burst there last year) from the Montana-Canada border to refineries along the Texas Gulf Coast.
If you want to read more about why the Keystone Pipeline is such a terrible idea, I wrote this post back in March, after the Missoulian printed their very pro-pipeline editorial.