Public News Service

The Montana Land Board is set to vote today on state land easements for the Keystone XL Pipeline. It's a vote that Jim Jensen, the Montana Environmental Information Center's executive director, says is premature because the environmental analysis for the project hasn't been finalized. And, there's more.

"Mind you, these easement agreements are not yet negotiated."

Those negotiations would involve pipeline company and local and state responsibilities in the event of spills, which Jensen says are vitally important because the pipeline will cross over three major rivers on state land: The Milk, Missouri and Yellowstone.

Governor Brian Schweitzer is promoting approval of the easements to speed the process along when, and if, the pipeline receives a final presidential OK. Schweitzer has actively supported the project, citing job creation

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