Keystone XL Pipeline

Photo by Victoria Wicks

The U.S Senate has approved a measure approving the Keystone XL Pipeline, but the project still faces a snag in South Dakota. TransCanada lost its certification for a building permit last year because it failed to complete the project within four years. Now it has to certify to the Public Utilities Commission that the project as it now stands meets the standards outlined in the permit issued in 2010. PUC’s staff attorney tells Victoria Wicks the Senate vote doesn’t change that.

SD "Last Battleground" On KXL

Jan 9, 2015

The Nebraska Supreme Court left in place a state law that gives the governor the power to approve Keystone XL pipeline.

You can hear the story by clicking play below.

An evidentiary hearing on the Keystone XL pipeline will go forward in May. Public Utilities Commissioners heard arguments Tuesday from pipeline opponents who say because TransCanada’s project has changed, it has to go back to the permitting process. But a lawyer for TransCanada says that’s not what South Dakota legislators intended when they wrote the laws governing permits.

File photo by Victoria Wicks

TransCanada’s Keystone X-L Pipeline project is on the PUC agenda again this week. TransCanada has applied for recertification of its permit to build the pipeline through South Dakota. Opponents say the project has changed enough that the company should have to apply for a new permit. On Tuesday Public Utilities Commissioners will hear those arguments.

The U.S. Senate was one vote short on Tuesday of passing a bill to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, which would cut through South Dakota. Republican Senator John Thune voted for the bill and retiring Democratic Senator Tim Johnson voted against it.

Jonathan Ellis, reporter and columnist for the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, and Jon Hunter, publisher of the Madison Daily Leader, joined the Dakota Political Junkies and discussed the vote. They also talked about the possibility of John Thune running for president in 2016 and the new state legislative leaders.

KXL Fails To Pass U.S. Senate

Nov 18, 2014

The U.S. Senate has refused a bill that would send approval of the Keystone Pipeline project to the president’s desk.

Those opposing the Keystone pipeline are claiming a small victory.   Keith Fielder is one of the occupiers at the "Spirit Camp" on the pipeline route near the Rosebud Reservation.   He says the short term construction jobs aren’t worth the long term threat to the water supply from an oil spill.

Photo by Victoria Wicks

The Keystone XL pipeline has another hurdle to jump in South Dakota. TransCanada failed to start construction within four years of receiving a site permit from the Public Utilities Commission, so now it has to prove it still meets conditions. People and groups from South Dakota and elsewhere are lining up to oppose the certification of the permit.
Tuesday, at a PUC meeting, the commissioners heard a debate on who should be accepted as an intervening party.

KXL Decision Pending

Sep 22, 2014

You can join the live town hall at 7:00pm central 6:00 pm mountain here.

A decision from the Whitehouse on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline is expected in November.

The pipeline proposes to bring tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada across the Dakotas and to refineries in the Southern United States.

The Nebraska Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Friday on the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline. Three landowners are suing to block the project. They say TransCanda bypassed proper permitting agencies. Officials with the Keystone project say they plan to re-certify the project in South Dakota while they await court rulings and federal permitting.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Candidates in two high-profile South Dakota elections are meeting this summer to debate issues important to voters. Friday the South Dakota Farmers Union hosted the most recent discussions among candidates for governor and US Senate. Both debates generated ideas about energy in South Dakota.

A member of the debate audience at the State Fair in Huron wants to know whether U-S Senate candidates support building the Keystone XL pipeline. The proposed route runs through western South Dakota, and the pipe would carry crude oil from Canada to Texas refineries.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

During their first debate, candidates for South Dakota’s only seat in the US House of Representatives clash over the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline and the Affordable Care Act. They answer audience questions for an hour Tuesday at Dakota Fest in Mitchell.

The Keystone XL pipeline was not built within four years of its South Dakota siting permit, so now TransCanada has to certify that the project still meets all conditions. The state’s Public Utilities Commission issued a permit for the pipeline on June 29, 2010. But the PUC chairman tells SDPB’s Victoria Wicks that right now, all eyes are on Nebraska.

Several weeks ago, President Obama put an indefinite delay on a decision for the Keystone XL Oil Pipeline. The Senate is planning a vote to move forward with the project without presidential approval.

Cindy Schild with the American Petroleum Institute says the delay by the president is a mid-year election tactic designed to aid Democrats in November. Schild refutes one argument against the pipeline, some say the oil pulled out of Alberta sand fields is of poor quality and shouldn’t enter the US.

Tribes Rally D.C. On KXL

Apr 24, 2014

Tribal leaders and state residents from across South Dakota spent part of this week in Washington D.C. rallying and lobbying against the Keystone pipeline.

Representatives from each tribe in the state took part in an Earth Day protest against the proposed project.

While opponents remain adamantly against the pipeline–company officials point out that the project is not crossing reservation land and that many rural landowners are in favor of the proposal.


Keystone Opponents Rally Lower Brule

Mar 27, 2014
Charles Michael Ray

A gathering of those opposed to the Keystone pipeline is taking place in Lower Brule this coming Sunday.   Opponents claim the proposed pipeline harms the environment and violates treaty rights.    But company officials backing the project say they want to work with tribes and find solutions to any concerns.


Dakota Political Junkies

Feb 26, 2014

Joining the program are Kevin Woster, Rapid City reporter for KELO-TV, and Seth Tupper, editor of the Mitchell Daily Republic. Topics included easing restrictions on hemp production, Common Core standards, Medicaid expansion and the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Crew Camp Proposed In Harding County

Nov 22, 2013

The population of western South Dakota's Harding County might see significant increases in the future. A crew camp to house oil field workers is being proposed west of Buffalo. The suggested camp comes in preparation for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which is still pending federal approval. But not everyone is on board for the presence of a crew camp or the pipeline.

Victoria Wicks

A U.S. State Department consultation with tribes over the Keystone XL pipeline was shut down Thursday in Rapid City by tribal leaders. Lakota, Dakota, Nakota, Nez Perce, Ponca, and Pawnee leaders joined together in walking out of the consultation after they discovered they were meeting with two people they later referred to as “low level clerks.”

Arkansas Oil Spill Raises Concerns Over Keystone XL

Apr 1, 2013

An oil pipeline spill that flooded tar sands crude oil into an Arkansas suburb over the weekend has raised concerns about the proposed Keystone XL pipeline planned to cross South Dakota.

The Arkansas spill was along an Exon pipeline –it’s separate from the TransCanada company pushing for the Keystone expansion–but some South Dakota landowners say the threat of an environmental disaster is real.

SDPB’s Charles Michael Ray has this story.

Senate Supports Keystone XL Pipeline Project

Feb 14, 2013

By Victoria Wicks
The South Dakota House of Representatives approved a concurrent resolution Wednesday to petition President Barack Obama to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. The resolution holds that the pipeline will reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil, create jobs, and generate tax revenue.
Senator Dan Ledermann says he traveled to Alberta, Canada, to tour tar sands facilities. The Keystone XL pipeline, if completed, will transport the sour crude from Alberta to the Gulf Coast.

Representatives Petition President to Approve Pipeline

Feb 12, 2013

The House of Representatives passed a resolution asking President Barack Obama to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline, but not all members were in favor. House Concurrent Resolution 1006 was approved 57-11 and recommends authorizing the pipeline. The project is expected to bring economic benefits such as job creation and tax revenue, but has been stalled for more than two years. Representative Troy Heinert spoke in opposition to the bill. Heinert says the pipeline will flow through three major water sources and have the potential to harm all lives.