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Keystone Projects VP Speaks in Billings

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The energy industry is a booming one here in the treasure state. At the annual Montana Energy Conference and Tradeshow, the vice president of Keystone Projects stopped by.

Vice president, Corey Goulet, came to talk about the changing industry and where we're at with the Keystone XL Pipeline.

The project has been in the works for more than five years. Goulet says he came to support the energy industry in Montana, and also sat on a panel talking about the obstacles they face.

"It's about providing the United States with energy from the US, from Canada, from a North American basis and so it's very important that we take advantage of the energy that we do have and that we do become energy independent over time," he said.

The pipeline is in the middle of a national interest determination period that started in February and goes until early May. Goulet says the State Department is reviewing comments and talking to other agencies.

"They'll provide a recommendation to the Secretary of State and the President, and then there's few more steps, but they'll be able to make a decision later this year."

Governor Steve Bullock spoke at the conference and talked to Goulet about hiring Montana companies if the pipeline is built.

"We are presented with incredible, incredible opportunities and with those opportunities comes the responsibility to make sure that it's done right, that it's sustainable and looking forward that we can make sure we have our energy future on our terms," Bullock said.

Attendees say energy is an important industry to the state.

"We're now seeing because of the resurgence in energy development in North America and us in particular, we're actually seeing manufacturing that's coming back into the United States because of lower energy costs," said Dave Goodin, MDU Resources president and CEO.

Goulet says the future of the industry is to have communication with the public and to balance environmental concerns with energy development.

The conference and trade show continues Thursday, starting at 7 AM in MetraPark's Expo Center.