TransCanada has been buying support for the Keystone XL pipeline by handing out $85,000 to towns along the pipeline route for civic projects. $5,000 for the Circle, Montana, 4-H chapter; $10,000 for a pool in Terry, Montana; $5,000 to the Harding County, South Dakota, FFA chapter...

...or have they? Harding County rancher Bret Clanton reports that his local FFA class invited him and a TransCanada rep to a discussion of Keystone XL, a topic the kids are researching and presenting on for a district competition. The FFA kids had the audacity to ask if TransCanada really had given them $5,000. Clanton says he checked with the finance office and the superintendent. Their conclusion: no such payment from TransCanada to the Harding County FFA has taken place.

The Bloomberg article advertising TransCanada's largesse came out August 23. Even in Harding County, the postman delivers and the bank cashes checks in less than eleven weeks.

Harding County School, Buffalo, South Dakota (photo by Bret Clanton)

Harding County School, Buffalo, South Dakota (photo by Bret Clanton)

Clanton sees fit to include this sunny picture of the new K-12 school Harding County has built. Clanton says he and his neighbors built this $11.7-million facility with bonds that the school district is sure it will be paid off by all the extra revenue that Keystone XL will bring to the community. Yeah, we've heard that one before from TransCanada. Whether they are counting dollars for counties or kids, TransCanada seems to have trouble with numbers.