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Nothing Says 'America Is Back' Like Taking Someone's Job Away

Salena Zito on

Marty Jorgensen likes to fish for walleye, hunt for elk and deer, and give a pheasant a good chase every once in a while. He doesn't just dabble in the great outdoors; he is the great outdoors.

The 61-year-old Havre, Montana, native who grew up on a farming ranch said he cannot do any of those things if the land he cherishes is scarred by seeping pollution coming from pipelines or the water is corroded by leaks coming from underground; he explained the plants and critters the game ingests would be too contaminated to risk eating the animals he hunts to put food on his table.

"As a pipeline contractor, we built this work with pride, with safety and quality," he said. "It's a different world than it was 50 years ago, and we take that into account. We know how to protect the environment and make the landowners pleased with the way we leave the land and their property."

It is an attitude that underscores his stridency about the precautions put in place by the company and the industry he has been working in for over 30 years. In short, what happens here means more to him than any bureaucrat or activist living 1,800 miles from his home in Montana.

Jorgensen also said he likes his job as the president of Barnard Pipeline in Bozeman, Montana.

"I have the oversight of our job selection, our estimating, our job execution, overseeing quality, production," he said. "I'm heavily involved in the daily works."

 

He began his career as an operator. Spend more than five minutes with him, and it's clear he is exactly the kind of guy who would work his way up in any job he did. He is just that way.

"We do major pipelines like Keystone XL, and then we also do a lot of integrity work and pipe replacement and work in the streets in congested areas," he said. "We are noted for being able to complete on budget, on time, some of the most difficult projects in the steepest and toughest terrain, whether that's in the mountains or in the city streets."

The Keystone XL pipeline was a major part of Barnard's portfolio this year. That is, until President Joe Biden crossed the line from being someone who professed on the campaign trail and in the debates to be a man who would heal this country with commonsense solutions to the handmaiden of the climate justice activists.

Jorgensen said the cancellation of the XL pipeline project was devastating to his industry.

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