Friday, January 23, 2015

GOP hypocrisy driving KXL, Dakota Access land grabs

PUC Commissioner Kristie Fiegen cited a conflict of interest in the matter because her extended family owns land in Spink County where the pipeline is proposed. In her place, Gov. Dennis Daugaard appointed State Treasurer Rich Sattgast to be an acting commissioner in the matter. [Dickinson Press]
South Dakotans are concerned that out of state pipeline companies are abandoning environmental protection for profits.
TransCanada staff began visiting landowners four years ago, trying to strike deals and avoid court battles. That didn’t work with John Harter in Winner, S.D. The rancher says TransCanada offered him a one-time payment of $13,300 to snake the line across a half-mile of his 280-acre cattle pasture. Harter demanded an additional $70,000 annually to compensate for the fact that he wouldn’t be able to graze his herd on the land for several years. The company refused his request and instead filed a lawsuit to seize the land through eminent domain, arguing the access to Harter’s land is worth just over $6,000. “They’re doing it with no regard to human life, let alone the earth,” complains Harter, whose case will be heard by a state court in June. [Ranchers Tell Keystone: Not Under My Backyard]

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