Rehberg Asks Baucus to Include Keystone in Payroll Tax Extension

By Beacon Staff

Republican Congressman Denny Rehberg wrote a letter to his Montana colleague, Democratic Sen. Max Baucus, asking him to include a provision in the payroll tax relief extension that would congressionally approve the federal permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline. Rehberg wrote, in part:

The Keystone XL pipeline project has been under review for more than three years now and will create thousands of jobs around the country, including 1,200 jobs in Montana. It’s time to let America get to work.

Baucus is the co-chairman of the payroll tax conference and The Hill reported Republicans were pressuring him to defy his leadership and “green-light” the pipeline, which would run from Alberta to oil refineries in Texas. From The Hill:

Baucus has told business leaders in Montana that winning authorization for the transnational pipeline is one of his highest priorities for 2012.

Republicans say Baucus, as co-chairman of the payroll tax conference, has the power to include Keystone language in must-pass legislation and will pressure him to act.

For his part, Baucus wrote a letter to President Barack Obama earlier this week, highlighting the need to support “energy jobs here at home.” He added:

I encourage you to unleash every appropriate resource to maximize the opportunity to improve both the economics and security of America by responding to the urgent needs associated with the oil and gas boom in the region which includes Eastern Montana.