Keystone XL Pipeline

Churchill, Manolis, Freeman, Kludt & Burns, LLP

A hearing set for Wednesday, April 24, to consider TransCanada's request to use water for construction of the Keystone XL pipeline has been postponed.

TransCanada says it plans to start construction on worker camps in August.

The company has asked the South Dakota Water Management Board to exclude tribes and environmental groups from the permitting process.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

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.

Victoria Wicks file photo

The Keystone XL pipeline has been on-again, off-again since 2008. That's when TransCanada first applied for a presidential permit to build the pipeline across the U.S./Canada border.

South Dakota rancher John Harter has known since the beginning that the pipeline is planned to cross his land near Winner.

He says he's relieved that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals left a Montana injunction in place, but he realizes this might not be the end.

Construction on the Keystone XL pipeline remains on hold until an appeal to the Ninth Circuit plays out. That order came out Friday, March 15.

The pipeline was stopped late last year, when a Montana federal judge put an injunction on the project until the U.S. State Department does more work on the permit.

TransCanada appealed that order to the Ninth Circuit and asked that the injunction be lifted while the appeal proceeds. The appeals court has turned down that request.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has more.

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.

Jenifer Jones / SDPB

 

Both legislative chambers are passing Governor Kristi Noem’s pipeline action response funds in one day.

The bills were introduced on Monday. Supporters say swift action is about public safety. Critics point to a lack of transparency from the Noem Administration.

During the last full week of session, the Republican controlled statehouse has passed the governor’s legislation that helps the state and counties crack down on those who riot during pipeline construction.

U.S. District Court-Montana

A Montana federal judge has loosened restrictions on preconstruction activities for the Keystone XL pipeline.

The federal court halted the pipeline in November until the U.S. State Department completes an accurate and updated environmental impact statement.

TransCanada appealed the injunction to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and asked the Montana federal court to lift restrictions pending appeal.

An environmental lawyer says once construction starts, opponents lose.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this story.

NARF

The Keystone XL pipeline has landed in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. That court has opened five cases stemming from a Montana federal court order issued in November and amended in December and again on Friday, Feb.15. Those orders stop pipeline construction until the U.S. State Department receives an environmental impact statement that conforms with the National Environmental Protection Act, or NEPA.

SDPB

Governor Kristi Noem says she wants to build relationships and partnerships with South Dakota’s tribal communities.

Toward the end of her first State of the State address, she says she wants the Keystone XL pipeline’s construction safe, clean and efficient.

But a Native American lawmaker says that stance will further strain tribal relations with the state.

Republican Governor Noem says she wants to build state-tribal relations. She says those bonds could address challenges tribes face in education, law and order and economic development.

Native American Rights Fund

It can be confusing to try to track the active lawsuits against the Keystone XL pipeline. But a lawyer from Native American Rights Fund gave it a shot at the Oceti Sakowin Treaty Conference held in Rapid City this week.

A brief explanation is fairly simple: Montana federal court is handling three challenges to the pipeline, and in Nebraska, the state Supreme Court is deliberating another. The devil is in the details.

U.S. District Court-Montana

The Keystone XL pipeline project has been stalled by a judicial order coming out of a Montana federal court. Judge Brian Morris has found that the Trump administration relied on outdated information in 2017 when overturning the Obama administration's earlier denial of a permit.

Morris wrote in his order that even when reversing a policy after an election, an agency may not simply discard facts without a reasoned explanation.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks reports.

Victoria Wicks file photo

The Nebraska Supreme Court heard arguments on Thursday, Nov. 1, about the permitting process for the Keystone XL pipeline. One attorney in the courtroom represented the Yankton Sioux Tribe of South Dakota. Jennifer Baker says the required consultation of tribes has not been completed, and surveys of historical and cultural resources were not done for the alternative route approved in Nebraska.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this story.

Domina Law Group

The permit for the final segment of the Keystone XL pipeline was challenged Thursday, Nov. 1, in the Nebraska Supreme Court.  During the permitting process, the Nebraska Public Service Commission rejected two pipeline routes but approved an alternative route. Opponents say the Nebraska PSC had no statutory authority to do that. Lawyers for TransCanada and the PSC say commissioners followed due process, and the alternative route was always part of the discussion.

Native American Rights Fund

The Keystone XL pipeline is facing another federal lawsuit in Montana. The Rosebud Sioux Tribe has joined with the Fort Belknap Indian Community to challenge the Trump administration's permit for the pipeline. The tribes say the Trump state department violated the Administrative Procedures Act as well as federal laws protecting environmental and historical sites. This suit joins two others filed in Montana, now consolidated, since the Trump administration approved he pipeline in March 2017. SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this story.

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 file photo

The South Dakota Supreme Court heard arguments on Tuesday, April 17, from opponents and proponents of the Keystone XL pipeline.

In 2015, the Public Utilities Commission accepted TransCanada's certification that it can comply with the conditions of its 2010 permit.

Opponents appealed that certification to the Sixth Circuit Court last year, and now appeals the court's decision to the state's high court.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

SD Public Utilities Commission

South Dakota's PUC chairwoman says the Nebraska Public Service Commission is bound by state law, as are the public utility commissions in all states. And so she says the Nebraska PSC had to make its decision to permit the Keystone XL pipeline based on the evidence they received.

Kristie Fiegen says commissions have to interpret state law and apply that to the evidence and filings.

Nebraska Democratic Party

The Nebraska Public Service Commission voted three to two on Tuesday, Nov. 20, to permit the Keystone XL pipeline to cross the state. Afterward landowners and activists for the environment and tribes gathered to declare their continued opposition. Bold Nebraska posted that rally online, and SDPB's Victoria Wicks listened to bring us this report.

To read TransCanada's statement, click on this link:

In The Moment ... November 20, 2017 Show 224 Hour 2

TransCanada has doubled the number of crewmembers working to clean up the area where the Keystone Pipeline leaked more than 200 thousand gallons of crude oil. Company officials say the incident is under control and the area presents no threat to public safety. But local leaders are still concerned. SDPB's Lee Strubinger has the report.

Nebraska Public Service Commission

The Keystone XL pipeline now has permission to cross Nebraska. The state's Public Service Commission announced its decision on Monday, Nov. 20. But two commissioners dissented, and one of them read into the record several reasons why she voted no. SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

Victoria Wicks

The Keystone XL pipeline got the go-ahead from the Trump administration in March. The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission had already done the work to allow it to cross this state. But still the pipeline is not a done deal. There are appeals pending in the South Dakota Supreme Court and Montana federal court. And Nebraska still hasn't permitted it.

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.

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