At a time in American politics where there hasn’t been a greater divide among Democrats and Republicans, it’s exceedingly rare to see a Democrat break ranks on a particularly heated issue.
That’s what happened this week, according to Breitbart, when Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) went public with his frustration over President Joe Biden’s order to halt the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, a crippling move that ended thousands of high-paying, union jobs essentially overnight.
The primary argument behind shutting down such a project, according to Democrats, is that further construction of the pipeline goes against their efforts to tackle the climate change issue, arguing that a pipeline is bad for the environment and that “clean energy” jobs are the future anyway.
But Tester, while admitting that he believes in the dangers posed by climate change, argued in a recent CNN segment that shutting down the lucrative Keystone XL pipeline project was a mistake after a reporter questioned him on the issue.
“[L]ook, I’ve been a supporter of the Keystone Pipeline,” Tester replied to CNN host Poppy Harlow. “And there’s been two caveats, and they have been basic caveats. You do it to the safest standards, and you respect private property rights.”
Tester went on to say that he believes those who managed the pipeline project could have done a better job at getting local tribes on board, like the Fort Peck tribe, but otherwise made clear for a second time that he’s a supporter of the project, while adding that he believes eliminating the project isn’t going to help any issues America faces in the face of climate change.
“But I also think that this one pipeline isn’t going to turn it around, isn’t going to turn our climate around, and it’s not going to make it in markedly worse situations,” Tester said.
According to The Blaze, Tester wasn’t the only Biden-backing Democrat who expressed frustration at the cancellation of the project. A number of large and powerful labor unions who had thousands of workers on Keystone and who backed Biden’s presidential campaign have gone on record of condemning the decision to kill the project.