Today, the Public Utilities Commission decided on a key issue in the certification process for South Dakota’s portion of the Keystone XL pipeline.

Last month, TransCanada filed a motion to limit discovery – in essence, a limit in what we as intervenors can ask of TransCanada in this hearing. Several parties, including Dakota Rural Action, filed responses, noting their motion was preemptive and clearly trying to keep out issues which should be included in this hearing.

TransCanada, in their motion, has basically attempted to define South Dakota’s state law. And in accepting that motion, the Public Utilities Commission has perhaps allowed a Canadian corporation to define South Dakota’s state law. Seems to be a dangerous precedent.

Commissioner Chris Nelson put forward a granting of TransCanada’s motion that discovery be limited to the amended permit conditions, the findings of fact TransCanada itself identified as bring important, or anything “reasonably calculated to discover admissible evidence.” This seems to be quite broad, and we appreciate the slight opening, as we appreciate the longer timeline granted today by the commission. It is still a tight timeline and there is a lot of work to be done, but we’ll do it all as well as we can.

We have a good team put together and we will make our best case – and we are asking you to do the same. The Public Utilities Commission needs to come from citizens of this state about the Keystone XL pipeline. So join our team today, and let’s stop Keystone XL: Yes! I want to join the Keystone XL Team.

Hearing timeline:

  • Initial discovery requests due: January 6, 2015
  • Initial discovery responses due: February 6, 2015
  • Final discovery requests due: February 20, 2015
  • Final discovery responses due: March 10, 2015
  • Pre-filed testimony due: April 2, 2015
  • Rebuttal to pre-filed testimony due: April 23, 2015
  • PUBLIC HEARING: MAY 5-8, 2015