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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Keystone XL Notes: Butte County On-Ramp?

The big Keystone XL pipeline will cross just four miles of Butte County, but commissioners are already working to get their ducks in a row and prepare for the disruption of their county roads. (Memo to Butte County: check with your counterparts in Beadle County to find out what it takes to get TransCanada to fix the roads they tear up.)

On an arguably encouraging note, the new pipeline may actually provide some service to South Dakotans. Milo Dailey's article mentions that some High Plains oil producers, including some in northwestern South Dakota, are urging TransCanada to build an "on-ramp" or two that would bring American Bakken oil shale product into the big pipeline. TransCanada VP Robert Jones sounded hesitant about that idea at first, but now he's signaling more openness to adding American oil to the flow... perhaps in part because Governor Brian Schweitzer had suggested winning approval to cross Montana might be contingent on opening Keystone XL to local product. (Dang—why didn't our PUC think of that?)

Of course, I'm still of a mind that we might be better off without Keystone XL all together. Torn-up roads, farmland subject to eminent domain and enivronmental degradation, all to haul dinosaur fuel that will probably run out before I do? Not a good investment.

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