PIERRE, SOUTH DAKOTA — Despite the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission’s motion to deny the Yankton Sioux Tribe’s Motion to Dismiss TransCanada’s Application to Certify the Keystone XL (KXL) pipeline, the Tribe continues its stand against the project.
In a decisive move, the Tribe filed a motion to dismiss challenging TransCanada’s proposal to change the findings of fact ordered by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) in 2010 when it granted the permit. There is simply no process other than an appeal of the 2010 decision or a reconsideration of the 2010 to revisit those findings of fact.
The ruling comes in the wake of the Commission’s decision to limit the parties to discovery so as to not allow the conditions contained in the 2010 permit to be revisited, yet now will allow TransCanada to revisit the findings of fact. This amounts to double-speak and is a deviation from what the Legislature meant to permit when it passed the laws. This is an unprecedented application of the law that many consider to step into the role of the legislature.
“It was expected, but the decision is not anything that will deter us from continuing to oppose the Keystone XL project,” Yankton Elder Sharon Drapeau observed.
Faith Spotted Eagle
“Ihanktonwan appreciated the powerful coalition that came together today to stand against the human rights violations and the concocted processes. It is clear that the Commission is walking in unfamiliar territory,” stated Ihanktonwan Treaty Chair Faith Spotted Eagle.
“I would like to thank the tribes and organizations that supported Yankton’s motion to dismiss and we look forward to participating in this case as it moves forward with that unified approach,” commented Thomasina Real Bird, General Counsel for the Yankton Sioux Tribe.
Although dissatisfied, the Tribe is even more determined in continuing to oppose the Keystone XL project. The next step is it to submit discovery and engage TransCanada in that process. The South Dakota intervener process is reflecting the voices of citizens who are sending a loud message to elected congressional and state officials who do not represent a strong constituency of landowners, both private and tribal. A large number of tribal youth were present to engage in a battle that will affect their future in a negative manner.
For more questions contact: Thomasina Real Bird (303)673 9600 or Faith Spotted Eagle at (605) 481 0416.