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Monday, February 16, 2009

State Affairs Deadlocks on Pipeline Tax: Try Again Wednesday!

SB 171, the pipeline tax, got stuck in committee Friday. The Senate State Affairs Committee split 4–4 (Dave Knudson was absent) on whether to impose a piddly two-cent-per-barrel tax on oil pipelines to create a cleanup fund.

Once again fighting for Big Oil was our favorite recipient of TransCanada campaign dollars, Russ Olson. At a time when Governor Rounds has challenged legislators to find new sources of revenue, Senator Olson says no to an easy tax on a foreign company that would protect South Dakota's water and soil.

Two cents a barrel is nothing for TransCanada. They're going to pay 400+ workers around a million dollars a week to work on the South Dakota stretch of the pipeline this summer. Losing $100 a barrel since July hasn't killed the Keystone pipelines; neither will South Dakota taking two pennies.

State Affairs will take another swing at SB 171 on Wednesday. Talk to Senator Abdallah, Russ, and flip your vote!

While Senator Olson votes to protect giant Canadian petro-corporations from what at $40/barrel is a 0.05% tax, he has voted to impose a 4% tax on his local pal Randy Schaefer, should Randy decide to get into the storage unit business.


  1. Is there any reason to add the tax prior to installing the pipeline? Maybe by waiting until it is created, we'll be able to ensure it will be built and used before adding a tax and giving them a chance to change their mind. Then pop a dime per barrell or maybe even a buck a barrell and eliminate sales tax from food and clothing in SD.

  2. Speaking of Randy Schaefer, when does he work? The daily leader shows him as key leader in DSU $36 million fund raising. Hope it goes better than funds raised on the gym for mhs. Yesterday he was fishing but I suppose insurance agents get day off for holiday.


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