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Meet the people who live along the proposed Keystone XL pipeline

Across Canada and the U.S., those affected by Keystone XL have a range of opinion on the proposed pipeline

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Vince Hrabec stands near the large oil tanks used to store product at the head of the first Keystone pipeline on April 22, 2013. Mr. Hrabec is the Hardisty, Alta. area foreman for TransCanada Corp., in charge of running the operations for Keystone, whose commissioning he also oversaw. “We’re building pipelines a whole lot safer today than has ever been done before,” he says.

Nathan VanderKlippe/The Globe and Mail

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Jordon Christianson keeps track of spring calving near Oyen, Alta., on April 22, 2013. Mr. Christianson is the director of property administration for the Special Areas Board, which oversees some 2.5 million hectares of land in Alberta that suffered severe drought in the 1930s. For Special Areas, TransCanada’s care in building the pipeline was remarkable. The company “had rare plant surveys done,” Mr. Christianson says, and identified numerous species at risk.

Nathan VanderKlippe/The Globe and Mail

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Laureen Marchand paints in her home studio in Val Marie, Sask. on April 22, 2013. Ms. Marchand is an accomplished artist who owns Grasslands Gallery. “I don’t really have an opinion on the pipeline,” she says. “At the same time, when there was enough noise to stop the original route” – a reference to pipeline changes mandated by the White House following protests in Nebraska – “I was cheering here in the middle of nowhere.”

Nathan VanderKlippe/The Globe and Mail

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Cody Math stands next to the fence near where the Keystone XL route crosses the border from Saskatchewan into Montana on April 23, 2013. He is the fifth generation of Math to live in the area north of Whitewater, Mont. His is the first U.S. house the pipeline route passes by. “I don’t know why people are against this thing. It’s not landowners. It’s the liberal left wing,” he says. “They’d rather run their cars on wind or something.”

Nathan VanderKlippe/The Globe and Mail

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Mark Arnold walks through Baker Community Church on April 23, 2013. Pastor Mark has launched a Tuesday night service to cater to the oil workers flocking to Montana.

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Clayton Hornung, the mayor of Baker, Montana, walks near heavy equipment building a water line to the site of a proposed “man-camp” for the TransCanada Corp. Keystone XL project on April 23, 2013. Oil money has made Baker High School so rich that it has built a large new football facility for its 120 students.

Nathan VanderKlippe/The Globe and Mail

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Like many western Canadian farmers and ranchers, Daryl Swenson has a lengthy familiarity, and comfort, with the energy industry. He was also one of five negotiators who represented a large number of Alberta and Saskatchewan ranchers, and persuaded TransCanada Corp. to pay landholders 10 times its initial offer to build the Keystone and Keystone XL pipelines.

Nathan VanderKlippe/The Globe and Mail

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