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!
p.s.: 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.
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