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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Ranchers Follow South Dakota Rules; So Should TransCanada

Once again, multibillion dollar foreign oil corporation TransCanada is asking for special treatment from South Dakota. SD Tar Sands Pipeline reports that TransCanada has asked the Public Utilities Commission to ease existing requirements for reporting spills of hazardous materials. Curent rules would require TransCanada to report any chemial spills that ahppen while they build the Keystone XL pipeline across West River. TransCanada thinks they should only have to report spills of five gallons or more.

South Dakota rancher David Niemi e-mails the PUC to say that's a crock. He points out that South Dakota farmers and ranchers follow the current hazardous spill rules and a host of other regulations. Niemi also expresses disbelief that TransCanada is asking South Dakota taxpayers to foot the bill for preserving fossils unearthed during Keystone XL excavation.

Niemi isn't asking the PUC to shut down Keystone XL (although he clearly rankles a bit at having the pipeline forced upon his fellow South Dakotans). He just wants Big Oil held to the standards everyone already agreed on:

...you Public Utilities Commissioners put a lot of time and consideration in the conditions of the siting permit. Upon visiting with other affected property owners along this pipeline route all were satisfied with the work you had done. We in agriculture live and deal with the same type of conditions in our business everyday. The conditions you commissioners provided should not be altered in any way [David Niemi, e-mail to PUC, Keystone XL docket, 2010.04.16].

South Dakotans like David Niemi follow the rules. So can TransCanada. And if they can't, they are welcome to buy 130 more miles of pipe and kink Keystone XL right around South Dakota. At a about $600K per mile, that detour through Wyoming would only cost TransCanada $78 million.

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