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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

PUC Discusses Easing Rules for TransCanada Oil Pipeline

The Public Utilities Commission meets today to discuss TransCanada's request that we change the rules to make it easier for them to run the Keystone XL pipeline through West River. TransCanada's request to cut corners is understandable, given that their Keystone projects are woefully overbudget, their partners are suing to get out of contracts, and their business model is drying up. SD Tar Sands has been doing a fine job covering why the PUC should not change the conditions already agreed to. And Rep. Frerichs reminds us that TransCanada freaks out when we try to change the rules on them for our own economic protection.

Besides, is this really the best time to talk about easing regulations on oil companies?

Commissioners Hanson, Johnson, Kolbeck—do the right thing. Hold TransCanada to the original deal. Protect our environment to the fullest extent possible.
Somewhat related:

Government can and must play an appropriate role here. If a company was lax in its prevention practices, it must be held accountable. It is inexcusable for any oil company to not invest in preventative measures. They must be held accountable or the public will forever distrust the industry... [Sarah Palin, discussing BP's mess in the Gulf of Mexico, quoted by Mark Silva, "Sarah Palin: 'Drill Here, Drill Now,'" Chiacgo Tribune: The Swamp, 2010.05.03].

Palin still wants offshore drilling. However, someone who actually has to make tough governing decisions, Governor Schwarzenegger, is dropping drill baby drill from his vocabulary. He's more concerned about oil spills "destroying our precious ecosystem"... as ought be our PUC.

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