Keystone XL Pipeline

Victoria Wicks

An alliance of tribal leaders from the United States and Chiefs of First Nations from Canada came together in Rapid City to oppose the Keystone XL pipeline and tar sands expansion.

On the Fourth of July, tribal leaders signed agreements to also oppose the Dakota Access pipeline and to stop the Interior Department from removing Yellowstone grizzly bears from the endangered species list.

Kevin Hart, a representative from Manitoba, says that 150 years of treaty violations have led to environmental destruction.

Victoria Wicks

TransCanada has successfully fended off another challenge to the Keystone XL pipeline.

In a decision filed Monday, June 19, Sixth Circuit Judge John Brown determined that the SD Public Utilities Commission acted appropriately when it accepted TransCanada's assertions that the pipeline can still be built safely.

The PUC issued a permit in 2009, but TransCanada failed to construct the pipeline within four years. The company then had to certify that it can still comply with conditions set in the permit.

Morrisa Maltz

In The Moment ... March 21, 2017 Show 054 Hour 2

Prior to the 92nd session of the South Dakota legislature, we welcomed South Dakota Supreme Court Chief Justice David Gilbertson for a preview. Now, as the session comes to a close, we welcome him back to the program for a recap. We talk about HB1183 and mental health legislation set to change the way citizens with mental health issues interact with the criminal justice system.

Victoria Wicks

Pending approval, the Keystone XL pipeline will pass across the state of South Dakota, through Buffalo, Murdo and Winner. The pipeline also crosses the river near the Cheyenne River Reservation.

A protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline near Standing Rock in North Dakota went on for months.
That’s prompted the state to prepare for potential demonstrations. It starts with one piece of legislation.

Protest Bill Heads To Governor With Emergency Clause

Mar 11, 2017

A bill that expands the governor’s ability to respond to potential protests has passed through the legislature with an emergency clause.

That’s what kept the bill from reaching the governor’s desk, until now.

Senate bill 176 allows the governor to prohibit no more than 20 people on school and public land, allow outside council for criminal defense and stiffens penalties to prevent protestors from blocking highways and occupying highway right of ways.

Victoria Wicks

In The Moment ... March 9, 2017 Show 046 Hour 2

We take a look at South Dakota's 92nd legislative session with SDPB's Kealey Bultena and Lee Strubinger. From deregulation to the philosophy of inflation projections in Pierre, Bultena and Strubinger analyze the session and discuss the work that is left to be done.

Victoria Wicks

The Keystone XL pipeline has had a long history for something that so far does not yet exist. It's future has not been decided either.

South Dakota's Public Utilities Commission first permitted the pipeline to cut diagonally across the western half of the state in 2010.

But TransCanada did not complete the project within four years, and so state law required the company to make assurances that it could still meet the requirements of the permit.

Victoria Wicks

The Keystone XL pipeline is at issue once again, this time in a South Dakota courtroom. Opponents filed an appeal in 2016 after the Public Utilities Commission gave the go-ahead for the pipeline the previous year. On Wednesday in Pierre, a Sixth Circuit judge heard oral arguments in the case.

Opponents say the PUC didn't do its job to ensure that TransCanada can build a safe pipeline.

But the PUC and TransCanada say the outcome followed state law.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks traveled to Pierre to get this report.

www.kfyrtv.com

A bill that increases the governor’s scope to react to a large scale protest now heads to the Senate Floor.
 
The governor’s office says Senate Bill 176 is legislation that aims to keep protests peaceful when the Keystone XL pipeline gets built. Opponents say it’s a restriction on free speech.

Senate Bill 176 lets the governor declare a public safety zone, establishes the crime of criminal trespassing, limits the number of people on public and school lands, as well as allows out of state lawyers to help with an increase in number of defendants.

Photo by Victoria Wicks

Governor Dennis Daugaard’s office is expanding state statute to handle any potential pipeline demonstrations in the future.
 
The bill comes a few weeks after President Donald Trump greenlighted the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines.
 
There’s concern over methods the governor’s office took to change state law.
 
Governor Daugaard’s office took a relatively empty bill called a shell bill, and stuffed it full of ten changes and additions to state statue.
 
The method is called a hog house amendment.
 

Pipeline Bill Deferred

Feb 13, 2017
Photo by Victoria Wicks

The Senate Taxation Committee has deferred a bill dealing with pipeline taxes. Sponsors hope the bill encourages companies to make pipelines with American products.

Senate Bill 158 puts a tariff on crude oil pipelines made of foreign steel. The bill also takes that revenue and puts it in a fund to pay pipeline leaks and clean up.  Certain sections also place accountability for failure to pay the tariff on company officials.

The bill’s prime sponsor is Senator Troy Heinert. He says the bill is about promoting American jobs and businesses.

Contention Follows Executive Order Approving Pipelines

Jan 26, 2017
Chynna Lockett

President Donald Trump’s executive order approving two pipelines has sparked both positive and negative reactions across the country. The decision comes while hundreds of campers remain in North Dakota protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Melisa Hamersma / SDPB

Native American Activists say they’re heading back to the Oceti Sakowin camp near Cannonball, North Dakota, following President Donald Trump’s memorandum regarding two controversial pipelines.
 
Tribal Leaders in the Standing Rock Reservation say the fight is now political, and should be fought in the nation’s capital.

http://www.keystone-xl.com/?s=Matthew+John

Trans Canada spokesman Matthew John joins Dakota Midday to talk about the status of the Keystone XL pipeline project in South Dakota. He talks about the economic and environmental impact of the project. We also discuss the oil leak from the Keystone pipeline near Freeman.

South Dakota has joined a multi-state legal battle against the federal government in support of the Keystone XL Pipeline. USD law professor Myanna Dellinger joins Dakota Midday to talk about the legal action and Keystone’s impact on the international conversation about climate change. 

Dakota Midday: Policy Insight from Marty Jackley

May 24, 2016

South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley is leading a national attorneys general delegation to Israel this week, and he’s bringing a little South Dakota policy insight with him. Attorney General Jackley talks with Dakota Midday host Lori Walsh about what international collaboration can offer the state of South Dakota, about officer-involved shootings in the state, and about efforts to challenge President Obama on his rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline. 

The Dakota Political Junkies discuss this week's South Dakota headlines. Denise Ross is an editor with Black Hills Knowledge Network/South Dakota Dashboard. Roger Whittle is managing editor of the Watertown Public Opinion. Today's conversation highlights the impact of President Obama's executive order to expand background checks on gun purchases.

Ross and Whittle also weigh in on the continuing Keystone XL Pipeline debate, what voters have to say on the subject of a wheel tax in Pennington County, and why Democrats are suffering in South Dakota.

Victoria Wicks file photo

If a presidential permit becomes available for the Keystone XL pipeline after the next election, it has the go-ahead to pass through western South Dakota. The state Public Utilities Commission, on Tuesday, Jan. 5, accepted TransCanada's certification of its ability to meet conditions outlined in the original permit granted in 2010. Commission Chairman Chris Nelson explained his thought processes and the legal reasons for the validation.

More of the story:

Victoria Wicks file photo

Even though the White House has killed the Keystone XL pipeline project, the permit in South Dakota is still alive. On Tuesday, Dec. 22, the state Public Utilities Commission denied a request from pipeline opponents to revoke the construction permit issued in 2010 and to stop deliberations on recertification of the project.

Interveners argue that a condition of the South Dakota permit is federal approval, and on Nov. 6, the White House refused to give that approval.

Dakota Digest for November 6, 2015

Nov 6, 2015
PBS

On this week’s edition of the Dakota Digest podcast, President Barack Obama has rejected a permit that would allow the Keystone Pipeline to cross the Canadian Border. Also on this week’s episode, the high school football semi-final round is this weekend and the US House of Representatives passed a transportation bill.

The Canadian company that seeks to build the Keystone XL pipeline asked the State Department to suspend its review of the project.  The request comes amid growing speculation that President Obama would reject the application before leaving office.  TransCanada Corporation asked for a pause in the review process while the Nebraska Public Service Commission approves the pipeline route through that state, something the company resisted in the past.

There are several sides to the issue. 

Victoria Wicks file photo

The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission has stricken parts of a witness's testimony and exhibits in the application process for the Keystone XL pipeline. That action took place Thursday, Oct. 29, at the PUC's regular meeting. Cindy Myers is a registered nurse who says she followed PUC's instructions to prepare her testimony. But TransCanada attorney William Taylor says Myers violated rules of evidence. SDPB's Victoria Wicks reports.

Photo courtesy of Faith Spotted Eagle

If the Keystone XL pipeline is built, a TransCanada contractor will set up three work camps, referred to as “man camps” by pipeline opponents. A TransCanada employee says up to 1,200 people will live in the camps, located in Harding, Meade, and Tripp counties. Some interveners express fears about the safety of the surrounding areas when that many people, most of them men, arrive. SDPB’s Victoria Wicks reports on this last witness in the Public Utilities Commission hearing that started July 27 and concluded Wednesday.

Victoria Wicks

At the Public Utilities Commission hearing in Pierre, a whistleblower testified earlier in the week, and Wednesday morning, TransCanada rebutted his testimony. Evan Vokes alleged TransCanada ignores regulations and uses faulty welding inspections. TransCanada says Vokes was a low-level employee without the required knowledge to make the allegations. SDPB’s Victoria Wicks reports on the hearing set to determine if TransCanada can still meet the conditions it agreed to in 2010, when the PUC first permitted the Keystone XL pipeline.

Victoria Wicks

The water resource director for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe says the Keystone XL pipeline project potentially threatens water supplies for his reservation. Doug Crow Ghost testified before the Public Utilities Committee Tuesday in Pierre. The PUC hearing started a week ago and continues this week.

Six years ago, the first Keystone pipeline was under construction through several counties in Eastern South Dakota. One landowner testified Tuesday before the Public Utilities Commission in Pierre that reclamation has not been done. The PUC has been taking testimony for more than a week to determine if TransCanada, the Keystone XL pipeline parent company, can meet 50 conditions attached to its 2010 permit. Among those conditions is land reclamation. The Keystone XL, if built, will run through Western South Dakota.

Victoria Wicks

An economist from Oregon said Monday that the U.S. State Department’s socio-economic study of the Keystone XL pipeline is seriously flawed. The report was not generated by TransCanada but is included as an exhibit for PUC commissioners’ consideration. Kevin Cahill testified for Standing Rock Sioux Tribe at the ongoing Public Utilities Commission hearing, held to determine if TransCanada can meet the 50 conditions imposed on a 2010 permit.

For a thorough look at the Keystone projects and their effects on South Dakota economy, go to the following links to find past SDPB coverage.

Victoria Wicks

Tribal rights have been a touchy subject at the Public Utility Commission’s Keystone XL hearing in Pierre. A pre-hearing order issued by the commission excludes aboriginal title arguments, but not discussion of treaty rights, a distinction attorneys don’t agree on. The pipeline, if built, crosses the western half of South Dakota, over territory set aside for the tribes of the Great Sioux Nation by the Fort Laramie Treaties, and although most of that land is now out of trust, certain laws still apply.

Victoria Wicks

One of the most dogged opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline is John Harter, a landowner near Colome in Tripp County. He fought in court to keep TransCanada from siting the pipeline across his land, and he lost. At the Public Utilities Commission hearing in Pierre, he is an intervener, and as such may ask questions of TransCanada’s witnesses. Although he has a quiet voice and slight stature, he holds his own in a room full of lawyers.

Victoria Wicks

A former TransCanada employee referred to as a whistle-blower took the stand this weekend at the Public Utilities Commission hearing in Pierre. The meeting started last Monday and continues this week. Evan Vokes testified on Saturday, and his testimony continues Monday or Tuesday, depending on scheduling of other witnesses.

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