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Work starts in Montana on disputed Canada-US oil pipeline

Work starts in Montana on disputed Canada-US oil pipeline

Updated: April 06, 2020 05:47 PM

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - A Canadian company has started construction on the long-stalled Keystone XL oil sands pipeline despite calls from tribal leaders and environmentalists to delay the $8 billion project amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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A spokesman for Calgary-based TC Energy says work began over the weekend at the pipeline's border crossing in northern Montana's Phillips County.

About 100 workers are involved initially. That number is expected to swell into the thousands in coming months as work proceeds.

Opponents fear the workers could spread the coronavirus in rural areas that are not equipped to handle an outbreak.

Last week, TC Energy says the provincial Alberta government will invest $1.1 billion to cover construction costs through 2020.

Alberta Premiere Jason Kenney says the province's resource-dependent economy could not afford for Keystone XL to be delayed any longer. 

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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