Native Sun News Today: Tribes resume fight against Keystone XL permit in South Dakota

South Dakota legislators in Pierre address resolutions on TransCanada Corp.’s renewed attempt to obtain permits for the construction of the Keystone XL tar-sands crude-oil pipeline. Photo courtesy Dakota Rural Action

Rosebud one of first opponents of XL Pipeline
Pipeline would transport foreign oil, made with foreign steel, to foreign countries
By Talli Nauman
Native Sun News Today
Health & Environment Editor

PIERRE –– As tribal plaintiffs headed to the courthouse here March 8 in their appeal against TransCanada Corps’ state permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline route across Lakota Territory, South Dakota legislators enshrined language straight from the corporation’s promotional materials in a resolution to support the project’s permitting.

The Cheyenne River and Yankton Sioux tribes, together with the Intertribal Council on Utility Policy (COUP), the Indigenous Environmental Network, the statewide grassroots Dakota Rural Action, other organizations, and individuals, gave notice in February 2016 of the suit appealing the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) permit renewal for the Alberta-based TransCanada Corp. to build the proposed toxic tar-sands crude line across South Dakota.

“We want to encourage people to be there and take a stand,” said Dakota Rural Action Black Hills Chapter Coordinator Tamra Brennan in the leadup to the court date. The organization provided transportation from Rapid City to the hearing and to a related gathering with speakers being held in Pierre on the same date, she told the Native Sun News Today.

The plaintiffs in the case before the South Dakota Sixth Circuit Court argued that Judge John Brown should order the commission to reconsider its state construction permit grant. For one thing, they said, the commission violated its own conditions in approving the permit before the company had all other permits needed.

One of the permits TransCanada Corp. lacks is none other than the federal Presidential Permit, which the past Administration of Barack Obama denied in November 2015, on the grounds that the foreign-owned private infrastructure project is not “in the national interest” of the United States.

Another outstanding permit TransCanada Corp. requires is from the Nebraska’s Public Services Commission for construction across the state.

Pipeline foes said they wanted the South Dakota permit decision remanded to the state PUC after a passerby discovered a 400-barrel (16,800-gallon) toxic tar-sands crude leak from the company’s Keystone I Pipeline near Freeman on April 20, 2016.

That line spouted leaks 14 times in its first year of operations alone. The commission needs to open the record to new evidence showing “how TransCanada hasn’t met conditions and promises made in the pipeline’s original permit,” Dakota Rural Action said.

Read the rest of the story on the Native Sun News Today website: Rosebud one of first opponents of XL Pipeline

(Contact Talli Nauman at

Copyright permission Native Sun News

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