Though tribes and other opponents of the Keystone XL oil pipeline have been granted intervenor status in a series of hearings before the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission (PUC), several tribal and climate-expert witnesses were excluded on July 22 from testifying at the evidentiary hearings that begin next week. Among them: Renowned climate scientist James Hansen, lead author in a new study claiming that temperature-increase targets of two degrees Celsius are too high to avoid climate catastrophe. This is the latest dismissal of tribal interests by the PUC. Last month, and also in May, the utilities commission turned down requests from four tribes and other Keystone XL opponents to testify on the grounds that their concerns did not relate directly to the conditions outlined in the permit.Read it all here.
Kristie Fiegen's health is not the only problem with her tenure on South Dakota's public utilities cartel.
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.
Republicans are evil.