Dakota Rural Action

Opponents to the Keystone XL pipeline are asking for more information before South Dakota Water permits are granted for pipeline construction. Opposing parties want the Water Management Board to compel discovery from pipeline parent company TC Energy Corporation, previously known as TransCanada. These issues were the subject of a hearing held Wednesday, May 8, in Pierre to determine rules and scheduling for future hearings.

ACLU SD

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a challenge to a new South Dakota law designed to protect construction of the Keystone XL pipeline from "riot boosters."

Governor Kristi Noem and Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg are included as defendants. In the last full week of the 2019 legislative session, Noem pushed through two bills to prevent another Standing Rock situation if the Keystone XL pipeline is built.

Noem signed the new legislation on Wednesday, March 27, and the ACLU filed its complaint in South Dakota federal court on Thursday, March 28.

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.

Amendment Z - Mark Mickelson & Tony Helland

Oct 16, 2018
Adria Botella

In The Moment ... October 16. 2018 Show 442 Hour 1

Under the current South Dakota constitution, proposed amendments are often multi-layered, embracing multiple, though often related, subjects. Signatures to get a proposed amendment on the ballot move the entire amendment forward for voter consideration.

Constitutional Amendment Z would change that process.

Representative Mark Mickelson is Speaker of the South Dakota House of Representatives. He joined us to urge voters to vote YES on Constitutional Amendment Z.

The South Dakota Supreme Court issued an opinion on Thursday, June 14, that state courts don't have jurisdiction over certification of the Keystone XL pipeline permit.

Pipeline opponents appealed the Public Utilities Commission's 2014 certfication of TransCanada's 2010 permit.

On appeal, a Sixth Circuit judge upheld the certification, and opponents appealed that decision.

Now the high court says neither the Sixth Circuit nor the Supreme Court has standing under state law to hear the appeal.

Victoria Wicks

Earth Day activities this weekend in Rapid City will include a March for Science. A junior at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology is organizing a march on Saturday from the campus to the Central States Fairgrounds. Cole Sawyer says this is a nonpartisan and diverse group coming together to emphasize the importance of evidence-based research.

Marchers will gather at the Surbeck Center parking lot Saturday morning at 9 a.m. The march ends north of the 4-H building at the Central States Fairgrounds.

For more information:

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

Two candidates for Public Utilities Commissioner came together for a forum in Sturgis on Saturday, Oct. 29.

Incumbent Chris Nelson and challenger Henry Red Cloud spent about an hour introducing themselves to the audience and answering questions, primarily about renewable energy. Questions about Keystone pipelines, both in eastern and western South Dakota, were off the table because of ongoing litigation surrounding both.

This is the only time these candidates will make a joint appearance during their campaign.

TransCanada

TransCanada authorities say crude oil could move through the Keystone pipeline again by the end of the day Saturday. Crews discovered a leak that released nearly 17,000 gallons of oil. The pipeline is shut down, but TransCanada says it should be fixed by Satruday, so oil can flow at reduced pressure.

TransCanada officials say engineers and pipeline integrity specialists are working on the leak site. They say they have conditional approval from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to restart the line after repairs are done.

TransCanada

Landowners and regulators are watching as crews search for the source of an oil sheen in southeastern South Dakota. The Keystone Pipeline is shut down as TransCanada teams drill for soil samples and excavate to figure out how oil got into the land. Officials with TransCanada say the oil covers about 300 square feet of land near Freeman.

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

At the Keystone XL hearing in Pierre this week, Tuesday afternoon was filled with arguments among attorneys over whether certain testimony should be included. A witness for TransCanada was asked about shippers’ contracts, and rather than have those questions answered, TransCanada withdrew the testimony.