By Steven Mufson, Published: July 18
MALTA, Mont. — Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D) says that it took some doing to get TransCanada to strike deals for an “on-ramp” that would allow companies drilling for oil in eastern Montana and North Dakota’s Bakken reservoir to feed some of their output into the proposed 1,700-mile-long Keystone XL pipeline.
Every time TransCanada asked him about the slow pace of state permitting for the pipeline, Schweitzer said he would ask them about their negotiations with Bakken producers. This went on, he said, for about 18 months.
“I had meetings with oil guys. Everyone was telling me about their problems with TransCanada,” Schweitzer recalled. “I said, ‘I’m a rancher. And when you got a horse, a 4- or 5-year-old coming along pretty good, and you come to a point where it locks up, and it weighs 1,200 or 1,300 pounds, and I weigh only 210. Then you just saddle it up, put a bridle on, tie a front leg to a saddle horn and they’re standing there on three legs. Then you walk up and give them a push and they just about fall down. When that happens, they listen.’ ”
The lesson for the oil producers was this, Schweitzer said with relish: “I said, ‘Tell you what I’ll do to TransCanada. I’ll tie one leg up there and they’ll start listening.’ . . . That’s exactly what I did.”
Today TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL, designed to carry petroleum from Alberta’s oil sands to Gulf Coast refineries in Texas, includes an on-ramp that could accommodate 100,000 barrels a day of oil from the Bakken oil boom. The pipeline itself does not cross North Dakota, but it would have a regional link in Baker, Mont.Share This Post