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Thursday, November 18, 2010

TransCanada Notes: Nebraska Regulations, SD Pipe Yard... and Oily Wind?

At least some Nebraska counties are taking action to keep TransCanada in line if it builds the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline through their territory. In York County (down where US 81 meets I-80), corn producers are asking the county commission to regulate the construction timeframe, pipeline depth, and pipeline reclamation to protect local agriculture. Holt County in north central Nebraska has already passed some significant pipeline regulations in anticipation of Keystone XL.

Meanwhile, TransCanada keeps trying to force landowners into silence about the project, something one Ernie Fellows of Keya Paha County doesn't much care for:

Fellows, a Keya Paha county landowner who lives near Mills, said he believes the company’s tactics and closed meetings with Landowners for Fairness (LFF) violate his rights.

“I belong to LFF. I have the right to say no. I have the right to speak. Having to sign a nondisclosure statement violates my civil rights,” he said [LuAnn Schindler, "Proposed Pipeline Has Some Property Owners Asking Questions," Norfolk Daily News, 2010.10.26].

Meanwhile, TransCanada is still getting its Keystone XL ducks in a row here in South Dakota. TransCanada rep Michael Calhoun checked with Butte County commissioners last week to make sure his company had the right permits for a pipe yard that mostly out-of-state workers will use as a staging ground for construction of the pipeline. Butte County has no zoning regulations, so TransCanada is good to go...

...assuming, of course, that the State Department approves TransCanada's permit request. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made some pro-Keystone XL noise last month, which earned her guff from both of Nebraska's U.S. Senators and some other folks... but no word that I've heard from South Dakota's Congressional delegation.

On the bright side, even as TransCanada threatens to profit from prolonging our addiction to dirty foreign oil, the Canadian company is also boosting wind power here in the States. At the beginning of the month, TransCanada finished construction on the 132-megawatt Kibby Wind project in Eustis, Maine. When those windmills are at full tilt, they'll provide enough juice for 50,000 homes.

Dang it: even those land-grabbing Canadian fossil-fuel peddlers can do something right every now and then.

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