Oil Sands Truth: Shut Down the Tar Sands

Group opposed to [Keystone] pipeline runs out of money

Group opposed to pipeline runs out of money

The Associated Press - Saturday, November 17, 2007

A group that opposes a proposed eastern North Dakota oil pipeline has run out of money for legal fees and their attorneys have abandoned the case.

Some residents along the TransCanada Keystone Pipeline and the Dakota Resource Council, a Dickinson-based environmental and landowner group, had been are preparing for hearings Nov. 27-28 at the Public Service Commission.

TransCanada's lawyers opposed letting the Dakota Resource Council lawyers withdraw.

The proposed pipeline will carry crude oil from northern Alberta to refineries in Illinois and Oklahoma. A 218-mile segment of the route goes through eastern North Dakota, entering near Walhalla and exiting near Oakes.

The DRC and landowners along the pipeline route who make up an affiliated task force hired a St. Cloud, Minn., firm Rinke Noonan and raised funds before hearings in July and September.

DRC organizer Lynn Wolff of Fargo said that the group went broke before the Sept. 5-6 hearing and the attorneys wanted to withdraw at that time but an administrative law judge wouldn't allow it.

Wolff said the group has about $30,000 in legal bills.

"The lawyers' bill built up a lot faster than we thought," Wolff said. "We are so thankful Fargo came on board with witnesses we couldn't (afford to) get because they have deep pockets."

The city of Fargo asked to intervene in the case nearly a month after the September hearings were over, when the record was considered closed.

City officials say the pipeline threatens municipal water supplies it gets from Lake Ashtabula and the Sheyenne River. Over Trans-Canada's objections, the PSC reopened the hearing record and granted Fargo intervention.


Information from: The Forum, http://www.in-forum.com

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