Controversial New Laws Prepare For Pipeline Protests, Go After "Riot Boosters"

Mar 14, 2019

SD Governor Kristi Noem, left; SD Senator Troy Heinert; SD Representative Peri Pourier

Two controversial bills addressing the cost of hosting pipelines have landed on the governor's desk ready for Kristi Noem's signature.

One law sets up a fund to pay for the pipeline-related costs incurred by state and local governments.

The other introduces the term "riot boosting" and links the actions of rioters to the organizations that support their causes.

Noem pushed the two bills through fast. They were first read in the Senate on March 4, a Monday, and by the end of the week had been heard in committee, passed by both chambers, and made ready for her signature.

Noem says the new laws assign financial responsibility for the costs of crowd control and riots if the Keystone XL pipeline is built as planned through western South Dakota.

Opponents say one of the new laws is vague and will most likely result in lawsuits against the state.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks reports.