For immediate Release: APRIL 9, 2015
Sabrina King, Dakota Rural Action Keystone XL Organizer, (605) 939-0527.
Dallas Goldtooth, IEN KXL Organizer, (507) 412-7609
TRIBES AND LANDOWNERS FIGHT TO BE HEARD IN SOUTH DAKOTA PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION (PUC) HEARINGS ON KXL PIPELINE
LATE BREAKING NEWS: The South Dakota PUC scheduled an “Ad hoc” meeting for today, 3:30 p.m. CST, April 9th, 2015 to hear a Motion to Reconsider filed today by the Rosebud Sioux Tribe regarding a decision reached last week by the PUC which Rosebud alleges deprives them `and other intervenors of Constitutionally protected due process rights. This is in addition to the numerous motions that are slated to be heard by them on April 14th. The Rosebud Motion and more information about today’s hearing may be found at http://www.puc.sd.gov/Dockets/HydrocarbonPipeline/2014/hp14-001.aspx.
Pierre, SD – With the May 2015 evidentiary hearing looming on the recertification of the Keystone XL pipeline permit, several Tribal and landowner parties are questioning the impartiality of the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission as it reviews the permit. Since four years elapsed from the time the original permit was issued, TransCanada Keystone LP must certify that the conditions under which the original permit was issued remained the same. Issues are arising over the recertification process; discovery requests and which parties and witnesses may be allowed to participate in the May 5 to 8th, 2015 hearing. A 9:30 a.m., April 14th , 2015 hearing in Pierre, SD is scheduled to resolve some of these issues.
Tensions over the proceedings initially arose back in December 2014 when the Yankton Sioux Tribe filed a motion, which several parties joined, to dismiss TransCanada’s application alleging that the 30 changed conditions TransCanada submitted along with its application constituted a new pipeline and that the entire permit process should have to start over. At the same time, TransCanada was granted a motion to limit the scope of discovery while Yankton’s motion was denied.
“Thirty changed conditions is prima facie evidence that the conditions are not the same. We asked the SD PUC to dismiss this permit recertification back in December 2014 but the Commission ruled against our request, “ says Yankton Tribal member and Ihanktonwan Treaty Council Chair Faith Spotted Eagle. “The PUC said they want to see the evidence and now TransCanada is dragging its feet to provide us with the information we are requesting and is seeking to limit our participation in the evidentiary hearing.”
Tensions escalated when the March 10th deadline essentially ended discovery with many parties feeling that TransCanada had not completely disclosed all the information they had on the 30 changed conditions of the pipeline. Two tribes, Standing Rock Sioux and the Rosebud Sioux both filed motions to address this and amend the SD PUC scheduling order. Standing Rock was denied their motion and Rosebud’s motion was approved.
“Pipeline safety has become a very important issue, with all of the recent spills,” stated Dave Archambault II, Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. “We are very concerned with the potential impact of an oil spill on plants that we still use for medicinal purposes today, as well as the impacts on fish and wildlife, and the threat to our water. The Public Utilities Commission had better take a hard look at these important concerns.”
Paula Antoine, Director of the Sicangu Oyate Land Office for the Rosebud Sioux Tribe said, ” We are disappointed that the SD PUC didn’t recognize our fellow interveners and that it was a small victory. But this project has the potential to have a monumental impact could devastate locally, nationally and globally. We are maintaining our solidarity and commitment to Unci Maka and our people. ”
The stakes over participation in the proceedings appear to be getting higher as the evidentiary hearing approaches. Over 40 parties initially intervened to participate in the SD PUC proceedings but now TransCanada is seeking to exclude over 20 of these individuals, environmental organizations including Bold Nebraska, several South Dakota ranchers who are crossed by the route, and the Intertribal Council on Utility Policy (ICOUP) along with limiting Yankton Sioux Tribe’s participation because they allege these parties have not complied with TransCanada’s discovery requests or did not provide “prefiled” testimony by April 2, 2015.
Dakota Rural Action (DRA) and the ICOUP both filed objections to the requirement of having to provide “prefiled” testimony because they allege it does not comply with South Dakota’s civil procedure rules. The TransCanada attorneys claim that SD PUC administrative rules provide for “prefiled” testimony which if not filed by the April 2nd deadline will have the effect of precluding parties from participating in the May evidentiary hearing.
A hearing on TransCanada’s motion to preclude parties from offering witnesses or evidence in the evidentiary hearing,, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s motion for sanctions against TransCanada as well as DRA’s and ICOUP’s objections to “prefiled” testimony, as well as other motions, are scheduled to be heard on April 14th, 2015 before the SD PUC.
“We urge South Dakota citizens to pay attention to these proceedings and urge you to join us in Pierre that day and during the hearing to make sure our voices are heard by these Commissioners. Under South Dakota law, they are charged with safeguarding the health, welfare and environment of South Dakota citizens and balancing development requests that benefit the people of South Dakota. We do not believe this pipeline will benefit the people of South Dakota sufficiently to jeopardize the land and water for our future generations,” said Paul Seamans of Dakota Rural Action.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, January 9, 2015
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe ✤ Yankton Sioux Tribe ✤ Standing Rock Sioux Tribe ✤ Indigenous Environmental Network ✤ Dakota Rural Action
South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Intervenor’s Statement on the Nebraska State Supreme Court Keystone XL Decision
Pierre, SD — The intervenors against TransCanada’s Keystone XL permit certification in South Dakota releases the following joint statement in response to today’s Nebraska Supreme Court’s Decision:
“The Nebraska State Supreme Court decision does not change the facts on the matter. The Keystone XL pipeline still remains a threat to the livelihoods of America’s farmers, ranchers, tribal nations, and individual landowners. And the fact remains that TransCanada cannot build Keystone XL in South Dakota.
We South Dakota pipeline fighters stand strong in our commitment to see the Keystone XL permit rejected by our state’s Public Utilities Commission and by President Obama.
The President has all the information he needs to act and reject Keystone XL today. This pipeline fails the President’s climate test. We encourage him to make the right choice to the benefit of us all.”
Contact: Dallas Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network: (507)412-7609
Sabrina King, Dakota Rural Action: (605)939-0527
DOWNLOAD PDF HERE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Response to Senator Murkowski’s Actions and Comments in Senate Meeting on KXL Bill
January 9, 2015 – The Indigenous Environmental Network is dismayed by the actions and comments made yesterday by Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), in her first day as the new chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources’ Committee. The Senator spoke about her usage of a Tsimshian “gavel” at the conclusion of the meeting and after adjournment was overheard on the live stream stating, “It’s kind of evil looking, isn’t it?”, referring to the gavel. Although we cannot assume the full history and connection the Senator has with the cultural item, her remarks were inappropriate and disrespectful nonetheless.
In the context of this meeting and the Senate discussions on the Keystone XL pipeline, we are curious why the only indigenous representation seen so far is a gavel used by Senator Murkowski. Given that the proposed Keystone XL route passes through Oceti Sakowin — Lakota, Dakota and Nakota Sioux – territory in the Great Plains, and given that Senator Murkowski has been a longtime member of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, we wonder why Native voices have not been included in these US Congressional discussions on the issue. These nations have not been properly consulted on the construction of this pipeline, as is required by US Federal Law, and South Dakota state law.
We implore the United States Congress to recognize the treaty, water and land rights of Native peoples across North America. We challenge Senator Murkowski to hear what tribal nations have to say on the matter of this “transboundary” issue. And we ask the Senator to consult with Tsimshian people before she makes any more remarks on the “evilness” of Tsimshian art.
We support the requests of First Nations Cree and Dene people of northern Alberta who vehemently demand to shut down the tar sands oil development. We support a just transition towards a greener, more sustainable economy in order to avoid future climate meltdowns. And we ask Senator Murkowski, and other US Congressional members, to join us in this movement to protect Mother Earth and say no to the Keystone XL pipeline.
Alaska-based REDOIL Statement
The following is a statement given by one of our network organizations in Alaska, Resisting Environmental Destruction on Indigenous Lands (REDOIL), an Alaskan Native grassroots network:
“Senator Murkowski blatantly ignores the concerns of thousands of Indigenous peoples threatened by the passage of the pipeline as she promotes Senate approval for the project. Senator Murkowski claims to have great respect for Indigenous peoples but her actions continually support development projects and legislation that threaten tribal sovereignty and food security of Indigenous communities whether it is by pushing Keystone XL legislation or seeking development of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and offshore oil development in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas.
Sen Murkowski promotes Indigenous homelands and marine ecosystems being plundered for the profits of big oil while our subsistence livelihoods would be destroyed as a sacrifice for short term economic gain with long term devastating consequences to the survival of our future generations.” – Faith Gemmill, Executive Director Resisting Environmental Destruction on Indigenous Lands (REDOIL)
For PDF Version: click here
Hashtags: #MurkowskiSenateFail #NoKXL
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 7th, 2015
NO KXL DAKOTA Statement on Statewide Actions and Prayer Rally
Pierre, SD – The grassroots coalition NO KXL DAKOTA is celebrating two-days of successful actions that occurred across the state of South Dakota against the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. In spite of cold weather, pipeline fighters held public demonstrations and deployed large NO KXL banners in three separate cities. These actions were done in support of the 43 individuals and groups who filed to intervene in Transcanada’s request for permit certification by the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission.
Over 50 people braved a harsh winter storm to attend the #NOKXL Prayer Rally following the commission meeting in Pierre. Despite the PUC’s vote to deny the Yankton Sioux Tribe’s Motion to Dismiss TransCanada’s application, the Tribe and the NO KXL DAKOTA coalition continue to stand against this dirty pipeline.
The NO KXL DAKOTA coalition also expresses gratitude to President Obama for announcing his decision to veto any congressional Keystone XL bill. The Keystone XL Tar Sands pipeline poses a threat to the lands of South Dakota and its people, and the coalition encourages the President to take one step further and reject this pipeline for the good of all.
“Our greatest worth as a state is not being a pass-through for risky and dirty energy. It is our permanent resources – our fertile soil and mineral rich water. We are turning away from tar sands oil. We’re smarter than that. A veto on a Keystone XL bill by Obama is simply one battle won in a greater war on dirty politics and dirty energy” Alice Alexandrescu, Dakota Rural Action member
“In the weeks and months ahead we will continue to make our voices heard and demonstrate a coordinated resistance to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline running through our lands.” Dallas Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network campaign organizer
“This week showed a growing resistance to the Keystone XL project in South Dakota. I am happy to see people across the state stepping up and saying no to KXL. I have said it before, we will succeed and as more people learn the truth and not just believe the lies being told by this company and their congressional supporters the people will say no to KXL after all the people are the power in a democracy.” Joye Braun, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Member
Contact: Dallas Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network KXL Organizer: (507)412-7609
Sabrina King, Dakota Rural Action Organizer: (605)939-0527
Joye Braun, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe member: (605)964-3813
Alice Alexandrescu, Dakota Rural Action member: (716) 803-3081
Photos can be downloaded at this url:
Rapid City Protest: Top of Main Street Square parking ramp, 7:45am MT
Sioux Falls Protest: 10th and Minnesota, 2:00pm CT
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, January 5, 2015
Contact: Sabrina King, Dakota Rural Action Organizer: (605)939-0527
Joye Braun, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe member:(605)964-3813
Alice Alexandrescu, Dakota Rural Action member: (716) 803-3081
Dallas Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network KXL Organizer: (507)412-7609
In lead-up to PUC and Congressional votes, coalition of grassroots activists take action across South Dakota to protest the Keystone XL pipeline
Pierre, SD, – A grassroots coalition of landowners, native leaders, and allied supporters are taking action across South Dakota this week to protest the proposed Keystone XL pipeline and raise awareness of the unified opposition to the project. These actions will precede the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission meeting on Tuesday, January 6 and an US Congress KXL bill vote expected to take place on Friday.
This grassroots coalition is called NO KXL DAKOTA and is comprised of South Dakota ranchers, farmers, citizens of Lakota/Dakota nations, the Indigenous Environmental Network, Dakota Rural Action, and other South Dakotans. Many of these coalition members are among the 40 parties that have filed to intervene in Transcanada’s application for a Keystone XL South Dakota permit re-approval.
The protests on Monday, January 5 will take place at the downtown parking ramp in Rapid City at 7:30am, and will start at 10th and Minnesota in Sioux Falls at 2:00pm. On January 6th, following the PUC meeting at 9:30am, there will be a multi-denomination #NOKXL Prayer Rally in the State Capitol building rotunda.
“One of the great things about South Dakotans is that we pride ourselves on common sense, and resiliency,” says Vermillion resident Alice Alexandrescu. “Both of these traits are dishonored by the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. We are turning away from hydrocarbons, the oil tycoons are growing desperate and they are trying to make us feel desperate too. We’re smarter than that.”
TransCanada filed for certification on September 15, 2014. On Tuesday, the PUC will hear a motion to dismiss the application outright, filed on behalf of the Yankton Sioux Tribe.
“The movement to stop the Keystone pipeline is growing in South Dakota,” said Joye Braun, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe member anbjd activist. “We will continue in our efforts to build resistance to this project knowing that we will succeed.”
Press coverage of No KXL Dakota protests:
Grassroots Coalition to Launch Demonstrations in Three South Dakota Cities Preceding Public Utilities Commission Meeting.
With the Transcanada Keystone XL pipeline permit up for certification by the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission, a grassroots group of landowners and Native people will launch a public awareness campaign to highlight resistance to the proposed pipeline project. This group is called NO KXL DAKOTA. They will hold public demonstrations in Sioux Falls and Rapid City,culminating in a large rally in the State Capitol building rotunda, Pierre SD.
What: Coordinated direct actions in three SD cities against proposed Keystone XL pipeline.
Who: NO KXL DAKOTA Coalition
When: Monday, Jan 5, Rapid City SD at 8am mst.
Monday, Jan 5, Sioux Falls SD at 2pm cst.
Tuesday, Jan 6, Pierre SD at 930am cst.
Where: Sioux Falls & Rapid City action locations will be announced (via press advisory) early Monday morning, Jan 5th. Pierre action will occur at state capitol building, rotunda.
Why: Raise awareness of South Dakota resistance to the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline project and encourage the SD Public Utilities Commission to deny the pipeline permit certification.
For more information, contact Dallas Goldtooth at 507-412-7609 or Sabrina King at 801-671-8372
– See more information at www.nokxldakota.org