Oil Sands Truth: Shut Down the Tar Sands

North & South Dakota: two articles on the Keystone

North Dakota: Questions raised about Keystone Pipeline

State regulators are considering whether to grant a permit for a proposed oil pipeline from Canada. Eastern North Dakota landowners and others along the proposed route have been raising questions about what it will do to their land.

Terry Borgeson says a ten-mile stretch of the route is too close to the Forest River. He worries that an oil spill would contaminate the Fordville Aquifer, which provides water for about 10,000 people.

Keystone project representative Jeff Rauh says the chance of a spill is extremely low. He says crude oil is thick and not likely to travel far.

The 2 billion-dollar Keystone Pipeline would stretch more than 1,800 miles from east-central Alberta to Illinois and Oklahoma. It includes about 200 miles in eastern North Dakota.

Janie and John Capp of Lankin worry that more lines will be added in the same area.

Joe Espelien of Park River is among the landowners who`ve signed easements for the pipeline. He says he does not want to hold back progress.

South Dakota: Commission cautions pipeline company
By Terry Woster
Argus Leader
October 4, 2007

PIERRE – South Dakota’s Public Utilities Commission may lack power to influence how a pipeline company handles land deals, but the agency is watching, commissioners said in a recent letter to a TransCanada Keystone Pipeline official.

All three commissioners signed the letter to Robert Jones, vice president of TransCanada Keystone. The letter said the commission received complaints from some landowners along the proposed pipeline route about being treated “in an unfair or inappropriate manner’’ by land agents working for the company.

”At this time, we have no evidence on record to indicate whether such claims are true,’’ the commissioners said. “Even if the commission had such evidence, it is unclear what authority, if any, it would have over such situations. Nevertheless, we want to make it clear that we as commissioners would not approve of such behavior.’’

The letter, signed by Gary Hanson, Steve Kolbeck and commission Chairman Dusty Johnson, also noted “our office has heard from a number of landowners indicating that their dealings with your company have been quite positive. We feel, however, that it is our duty to make you aware of this situation so, if needed, it can be rectified.’’

The Keystone Pipeline would move crude oil from fields in Alberta, Canada, to refineries in Illinois and Oklahoma. About 220 miles of the line would cross eastern South Dakota. The company is seeking a siting permit form the PUC.

Jones recently said in written testimony to the PUC that the company has firm shipping contracts totaling 495,000 barrels of oil per day on the proposed pipeline.
Last month the company began legal action to get easements on some private land on the pipeline route.


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