Construction on the delayed Keystone XL pipeline has begun in Montana, despite protests from indigenous rights groups and environmentalists, TC Energy, the company constructing the pipeline, announced that construction of the project would begin on March 31. The company received a $1.1 billion investment from the government of Alberta, Canada, the northern endpoint of the pipeline. It will stretch down to Steel City, Nebraska, spanning 1,210 miles across the U.S.
Construction of the pipeline has been criticized amid the coronavirus pandemic. Rural community residents and American tribal leaders are concerned that the influx of approximately 1,000 pipeline workers will spread the virus.
“Given the needs of families, states and the national health care system to respond to the COVID-19 crisis right now, it’s truly irresponsible to shove through an unpopular, risky pipeline while everyone else is focused on surviving,” Janet Redman, the director of Greenpeace USA Climate Campaign.
TC Energy says it plans to screen for coronavirus infections and symptoms, as well has have employees practice social distancing while working on the pipeline.