Construction begins on long-stalled Keystone XL pipeline

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.

A spokesman for 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.