Despite TransCanada’s lawyers’ best efforts to try to block Bold Nebraska and Nebraska landowners from acting as intervenors in the new Keystone XL permit process, the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission just voted unanimously to grant us all full party status!
Citizens and Tribal Nations Stand Up Against TransCanada’s Latest Attempts to Silence Opposition
Pierre, SD — In a move that surprises no one, TransCanada has filed paperwork to block citizens and tribal nations from Nebraska and South Dakota from participating in the formal process of getting their permit for Keystone XL re-certified. Over 40 Nebraskans and South Dakotans have applied for formal “party status” which gives citizens, groups and Tribal Nations the ability to participate in discovery and ask questions to witnesses during the hearing process.
On Tuesday, October 28, the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) will decide the next steps for the process and will allow individuals to contest TransCanada’s opposition to our formal participation in the hearing.
1) Groups and individuals will host a press conference immediately following the hearing to give reactions to any decision, since we do not have a formal time for the hearing, we will simply leave the hearing room once a decision is reached and give press reactions outside the building on the public sidewalk on Tuesday, October 28th.
2) Groups will also host a press call on Wed., Oct. 29th at 11:30am CT/ 12:30pm ET to give reaction to press unable to attend the hearing, call-in number 866-952-7528, passcode KXL.
3) Press and the public can watch the hearing live online Tuesday, Oct. 28th, starting at 11:30am CT: http://www.puc.sd.gov (Note: Keystone is the 6th agenda item, so firm time when the discussion will take place is unknown).
Several months ago, TransCanada’s construction permit expired, leaving the foreign oil corporation without a state permit for Keystone XL in both Nebraska and South Dakota. Landowners, tribes and nonprofit groups are working together to ensure all the diverse concerns are addressed in the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission’s (PUC) permit hearing process. Approximately 40 Nebraskans and South Dakotans applied to be have “party status” which gives them the ability to participate and provide evidence and ask questions to witnesses during the hearing process.
Even TransCanada acknowledges that in order to qualify as an intervener, you must only meet one of these guidelines:
1) Live on the proposed route;
2) Be a nonprofit that has interest in the proposed project; or
3) Be an interested person.
Each of us falls into one or more of those categories and we look forward to participating in the hearing process. We all want to have the ability to ask questions to witnesses and participate in discovery at the formal hearing.
Embedded below is Bold Nebraska’s official submission to the South Dakota PUC.
Quotes from landowners, tribes and nonprofit groups:
“The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe looks forward to working with the Lakota Nation and our non-Indian friends, to inform the Public Utilities Commission on the new information about Keystone’s impacts on land, air and water. It is incumbent upon the PUC to deny re-certification to Keystone.” -Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II
“The South Dakota PUC was very fair in allowing interested parties to testify at the original permit hearing in 2009 and 2010. Our Nebraska friends and landowners also have a vested interest in the permitting and the building of the KXL as the interstate pipeline is not just a South Dakota issue. I hope that the PUC will agree and will allow all people with an interest in the KXL to testify.” -Paul Seamans, South Dakota landowner
“We are looking to the PUC and to the United State government to do what is right. We have valid concerns from the first nations people and ask the PUC to deny TransCanada’s state construction permit. Tarsands is not good for the land, water or the people.” – Aldo Seoane, co-founder of Wica Agli a South Dakota tribal nonprofit
“TransCanada does not want us, individuals and groups part of the Cowboy and Indian Alliance, to give testimony in the formal process before the South Dakota PUC. We are a diverse group of voices with valid concerns, like the environmental impacts of a tarsands pipeline on the Sandhills and Ogallala Aquifer, both of which reach into South Dakota and are on the current proposed route in both of our states. As the founder and Executive Director of Bold Nebraska it is offensive and laughable that TransCanada would state I do not have authority to speak on behalf of our group. We look forward to obtaining party status for the hearing process.” -Jane Kleeb, Bold Nebraska
“The foreign owned company, TransCanada, objects to my party status because I live outside of South Dakota. Well, so do they! Our family farm is less than 5 miles from the SD border. I do consider myself as a legitimate intervenor. Their proposed pipeline will cross a mile of our family farm and be sited approximately 200 yards from my house. Unlike them, I am a U.S. citizen, a legal resident of the State of Nebraska, and a Marine Corps Veteran. I worked for, and retired from the Department of Defense at Naval Submarine Base, Bangor, Silverdale, Washington. There are a number of reasons that I do not support this pipeline and believe there are legitimate reasons to be concerned, not only for Nebraska, but South Dakota as well.” -Robert Allpress, Nebraska landowner
“For the sake of my family and community, I have a vested interest in whether or not TransCanada will have the recertification of their permit approved. I have pertinent information to share with the SD PUC that may have an impact on their decision.” -Elizabeth Lone Eagle
“As a citizen of the United States, who has paid her Nebraska state taxes and Federal taxes faithfully every year, I should be given the right to speak about a foreign company’s project which is going to have a direct affect on my land, water, and family members in Nebraska and South Dakota, who are also citizens of the United States. TransCanada is not a good partner for the citizens of Nebraska, South Dakota, and all of the United States. Once again TransCanada, a foreign company, is showing it’s true colors by trying to silence us. Please let us citizens of the United States speak! ” -Diana Steskal, Nebraska landowner
“Many places in the United States are in crisis over water resources. As a citizen of the US, I should have the right to voice my concern over the risks to the Ogalalla Aquifer by the Keystone XL pipeline. When a foreign country tries to stop us from speaking up, that is not right. I ask the PUC to allow me to exercise my Constitutional right to speak at the hearing. Our voices have a right to be heard.” -Carolyn Smith, Plainview Nebraska
“We ask the PUC as well as the United States government to stand up against the bullies of TransCanada. To see what truly lies within their corporate greed and look out for the best interest of our great country’s amazing people. Deny this permit and save our lives. Do it because you can. Do it because it is right. Let those that requested be an official party status.” -Greg Grey Cloud, Co-Founder of Wica Agli, a South Dakota tribal nonprofit