Gallagher asks President Biden to reconsider stance on Keystone XL Pipeline

Published: Jan. 22, 2021 at 8:00 PM CST
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KAUKAUNA, Wis. (WBAY) - Congressman Mike Gallagher, who represents parts of Northeast Wisconsin, is calling on President Biden to reconsider his stance on the Keystone XL Pipeline.

On Wednesday, the president rescinded the construction permit for the project which would have transported tar sands oil from Canada to refineries on the Gulf Coast.

Speaking inside a union hall in Kaukauna, Gallagher (R-Green Bay) voiced his opposition to the president’s executive order. The pipeline doesn’t run through Wisconsin but is tied to a billion dollars in economic activity.

“There’s about 11,000 jobs at stake nationally. The rough estimate is 2,000 of those are Wisconsin jobs right here, and those are high-paying, quality jobs, and particularly at a time when we’re still in the midst of a devastating pandemic and people are struggling to make ends meet,” the congressman said.

However, the project has also been controversial for its environmental impact, especially on tribal lands. It would have transported millions of barrels every day from the tar sands in Canada, which some say is especially crude.

“What it does when it leaks, it goes directly, right to the bottom of all water sources,” Oneida Nation Vice Chair Brandon Yellowbird-Stevens said, “so it makes it more difficult to cleanup. And it also releases, when it burns or it’s used, it releases higher toxin levels than any other oil out there.”

Gallagher responded, “I understand the environmental concerns. I truly, I truly do. But the fact is, as we were talking about before, this is actually a more environmentally friendly way to transport crude than through rail or through tanker.”

Gallagher says two Wisconsin companies have jobs tied to the pipeline, including the Michels Corporation based in Brownsville.

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