DRA Appeals PUC Decision To Keep KXL Alive

Dakota Rural Action continues to fight  injustices.  Earlier this spring the DRA Board of Directors decided to appeal the SD PUC decision to keep the KXL pipeline Alive. 

In order to continue this work we need your financial support.

We are asking you to donate $100 to help cover this important expense.

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In South Dakota there’s a chasm between the citizens and the leadership of the state. In the case of oil pipelines, the state’s leadership has bent over backwards to provide the easiest pathway for these projects at the expense of our landowners, water, Tribal people, and natural resources. Our state leaders continue to ignore the unfair use of eminent domain threats to pressure South Dakotans into unjust and unwanted easements.

Since 2008 Dakota Rural Action and a growing group of diverse allies has fought these pipelines and worked to improve the way South Dakota decision makers treat the people and water in these cases.

Earlier this year the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approved the Keystone XL Pipeline for a second time despite President Obama’s decision to deny them a Presidential Permit. In addition to being illegal, this action violated one of the conditions the PUC, itself, placed on the pipeline, requiring Keystone XL to acquire all necessary permits. In other words, the PUC violated one of their own conditions.

A recent leak in the Keystone 1 pipeline near Freeman, SD raises concerns about the safety of all current and any future pipelines. This spill is suspected to have been caused by a faulty weld between two different thicknesses of pipe. The pipeline was allowed to use thinner pipe for most of the distance but had to use thicker pipe when going under roads and rivers. Making these transition welds a common occurrence along the pipeline and dangerously close to water sources and residences along the pipeline route. Keystone 1 is also digging up and dealing with potentially “out of round” pipe they discovered when testing the pipeline after construction.

Due to the information coming out about the leak, Dakota Rural Action and allies including: the Yankton Sioux Tribe, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and Intertribal Council on Utility Policy have filed a motion to remand the approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline to the PUC with instructions that the PUC to open the record to receive new evidence surrounding the spill near Freeman. This evidence shows how TransCanada hasn’t met conditions and promises made in the pipelines original permit and the PUC’s decision to approve the Keystone XL should be reversed.

For these reasons Dakota Rural Action continues to fight these injustices. Earlier this spring the DRA Board of Directors decided to appealed the PUC decision.  Our appeal has been written and filed and the expenses are piling up. While our attorneys are doing this at a reduced rate for us, it is still an expensive process, which is why we are coming to you for help.

We estimate the bill for the appeal will be $15,000. In order to continue this work we need your financial support. We are asking you to donate $100 to help cover this important expense.

In addition, construction has begun on the Dakota Access Pipeline in South Dakota despite the lack of all the necessary permits. Landowners are seeing their property dug up and destroyed because the PUC won’t stand up to the pipeline and make them wait for all their permits, saying instead the construction is done at the pipeline’s risk. However, the truth is, the only risks are to the landowners, our water and environment.

DRA is proud to be a part of a broad coalition of groups and people dedicated to protecting the land, landowners, water and natural resources of this state. We couldn’t have gotten this far without you and we need your help to continue the fight. Please make a donation today.

 

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