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How Biden’s Keystone Kill Dashed Workers’ Hopes to Catch a Badly Needed Break

Pipes for Transcanada Corp’s planned Keystone XL oil pipeline at a depot in Gascoyne, N.D., 2017 (Terray Sylvester/Reuters)

It was about a year ago that Valarie Zupanik was laid off from her job doing payroll for a Montana trucking company. She’d worked there for a decade. She hadn’t seen it coming.

But finding new work didn’t take long.

Baker, the small Montana city near the North Dakota border where Zupanik lives, was in the path of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which was expected to pump 800,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta, Canada, to the Gulf Coast. Within a few weeks of losing her job with the trucking company, Zupanik, 58, got a new one doing administrative work

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Ryan Mills is a media reporter at National Review. He previously worked for 14 years as a breaking news reporter, investigative reporter, and editor at newspapers in Florida. Originally from Minnesota, Ryan lives in the Fort Myers area with his wife and two sons.

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