TransCanada received a permit with conditions in 2008, but lack of DOS approval led to it expiring before the foreign company could start construction on the Keystone XL pipeline. Several tribes and state citizens are fighting renewal before the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission, which recently concluded nine days of hearings about the pipeline. Tribes asserted TransCanada had not met its burden of satisfying federal law as a condition of the permit.
There already is a Keystone pipeline that runs through South Dakota. The Phase 1 pipe starts in Canada, at the same location the Keystone XL pipeline will start, then cuts east across Saskatchewan and Manitoba before going south to Nebraska. The XL version is bigger, obviously, and will cut an almost straight line from Alberta to Nebraska on its way to the Gulf of Mexico to take advantage of the Bakken crude boom in Montana and the Dakotas. PUC previously concluded that the negative effects generated from billions of gallons of oil pumping over the State’s water sources unsupervised was greatly outweighed by its benefits, namely the $9.1 million in tax revenue it was supposed to pay counties. However, the full amount was never paid and now TransCanada promises to pay even more money and still guarantees job growth that DOS has reported is negligible.