LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Keystone Pipeline XL Project does not run through Arkansas but the state plays a major role in the project itself. Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston says the pipe that was being used for the project is manufactured at Welspun Pipes, Inc at the Port of Little Rock.
President Joe Biden issued an executive order on his first day of office killing that project and that will have dire effects on the company and the Port. Port Executive Director Bryan Day said, “It will mean lost jobs, it will mean lost revenue. It will mean the Port of Little Rock moves fewer barges, fewer railcars. It will mean that ancillary businesses like truck drivers, and caterers, and rental equipment companies will feel that impact.”
Day said they are not sure yet what the full impact will be. Preston says it will go beyond the port itself, “They don’t have the disposable income that they had to where they can go out to the restaurant now or go out and buy the new car or the new home their purchasing and then that has an effect on the industries that support that.”
Preston said this project has become politicized and this project would have helped, “The CO2 emissions for a pipeline are much, much lower than if they were to rail or truck the product which they’re going to have to do now.”
Day and other officials say they are not worried about the long-term viability of Welspun, “They’re not going anywhere, they’re committed to Little Rock, they’re committed to Arkansas, they’re committed to the United States and we’ll get through this, again it’s just a little bit harder with that decision but they’re going to be fine.”