A reader pointed out this excellent piece in the Montana Pioneer by Paul Seamans and Darrell Garoutte about the threat posed by Keystone XL to local landowners:
We are here to tell you that just because a landowner signed an easement with TransCanada, it does not mean he or she supports the building of the project.
When the pipeline project was first proposed and we learned that our ranches were in the path, we were concerned about the protection of our drinking water, unsafe roads during construction and liability in the case of spills, or other problems. Years later, and with the permit decision imminent, our fears have not gone away—quite the opposite.
As we have become more educated on how the tar sands oil is extracted and what happens to the environment, a whole new set of concerns has arisen. We now know that the tar sands oil is not like conventional crude and it needs to be thinned down before it will flow, using carcinogenic chemicals that can’t be removed by any water-treatment plant.