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It`s one thing to produce the energy, but getting it to where it needs to go can be harder than you`d think. The Keystone XL Pipeline is back in the news. Several midwest states, including Montana and North and South Dakota, are waiting for President Obama to make a decision on whether the 1,700 mile construction project will be allowed to proceed.
We`ve known about the controversy surrounding the Keystone Pipeline Project. But you may be shocked to find out part of the pipeline is being stored right here in North Dakota, just waiting to be put in the ground.
Hundreds of people drive by a piece of massive pipeline that`s become a political football.
William Pladson owns an old coal mine in a secluded corner of southwest North Dakota. In 2010 he learned that his land was the perfect spot to park 200 miles of the Keystone XL Pipeline. But he never thought it would stay so long.
"Obviously we thought it would start to unload and then immediately start to go towards the pipeline."
Each of the pipes is 80 feet long, 36 inches in diameter and sits on 75 acres of land. It`s hard to miss the close to 200 miles of pipeline sitting here in North Dakota. But Pladson says its a well-kept secret.
"I have noticed that there is a lot of pipe over here to the east of Bowman. And we have wondered where it is supposed to be going," said Bowman resident Madelon Austby.
Others in the the small town of Bowman say they know about the delays getting the project started, and they hate to see it just sitting there.
"They seem to be having some problems. But I really do think they need to work it out because North Dakota needs to get the oil out of here. And there is a whole lot of oil here," said Bowman oil worker Greg Munro.
The pipeline will travel across three Midwest states and carry oil from the Canadian Tar Sands and the Bakken down to refineries in the gulf. Pladson understands approval of the pipeline is in President Obama`s hands. So for now, this massive outdoor storage site will remain a fixture of the North Dakota landscape, collecting snow and dust.
North Dakota Senator John Hoeven and other proponents recently spoke on the floor of the Senate to urge the President to sign a permit to allow construction of the pipeline to begin. When and if that happens is up to President Obama.