NOKXL Prayer Rally. Pierre SD. Jan 6, 2015.

KXL hearings heating up in South Dakota

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




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


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: Grassroots activists protest Keystone XL in South Dakota


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: