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Noem Lies About Keystone XL Oil, Lies Smaller About Jobs, Ignores Property Rights

How can you tell Rep. Kristi Noem is lying? When she talks about the Keystone XL pipeline.

South Dakota's lone Congresswoman found just enough time between basketball games and polishing her saddle to repeat her support for TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline. Her weekend press release perpetuates the lies that the pipeline will give Americans a reliable supply of "American" energy and create thousands of jobs. All that oil is going straight to China, which will increase our gasoline prices. As for jobs, TransCanada has consistently exaggerated its job-creation claims, as admitted by TransCanada VP Robert Jones himself in 2011.

Even Rep. Noem has had to scale back her jobs claims. Last year, when President Obama very sensibly rejected Noem's effort to push him to make a hasty decision without looking at all the facts, Rep. Noem hollered that Keystone XL would create 130,000 jobs. She has scaled that pipe dream back by a factor of 6.5, to 20,000 jobs, TransCanada's approved propaganda number... which Greenpeace says could get TransCanada prosecuted for lying to shareholders.

And let's not forget: Rep. Noem (like Senator John Thune) is spouting false arguments to put foreign profits and Chinese oil imports above our land rights. Rep. Noem herself hints at that in her press release, noting that 97% of South Dakota landowners along the Keystone XL route have acquiesced to TransCanada's land acquisition tactics... meaning 3% will get hosed by eminent domain wielded not by the government for public purpose but by a private Canadian corporation for oil Americans won't even get to use.

Please explain to me again: in what universe is Rep. Kristi Noem is behaving more patriotically in advocating for this pipeline than President Barack Obama did last year in delaying it?


  1. phyllis cole-dai 2013.01.28

    Right on, Cory!

    Thanks for setting Kristi straight on these facts. Why can't we deal in facts instead of fiction anymore when it comes to anything in politics, especially big issues like KXL?

    Last week I attended the "Protect the Sacred" intertribal gathering (including a lot of us from the "white tribe") in Pickstown, SD, where we were strategizing grassroots resistance to the pipeline. That gathering was incredible. Resistance to KXL is growing fast, among farmers and ranchers, tribal peoples, folks concerned about the environment, folks who are angered by the corporate interests and greed and corruption that are killing our democracy, and more.

    The KXL pipeline (like the mining of tar sands oil it's supposed to carry to the Gulf for export) violates property rights, treaty rights, human rights and the rights of all inhabitants of Mother Earth. One way or another, it will be stopped. South Dakotans (myself included) will be among tens of thousands of other Americans marching in Washington on February 17 to remind President Obama that his legacy will largely be determined by what kind of course he charts relative to climate change--and nixing the KXL should be his first step in charting a wise course. If he chooses to do otherwise, we'll be ready. We're committed to nonviolent resistance, and that resistance will take every form we can think of, for the sake of our children, and our children's children.

    Scientists are now predicting that if the world doesn't make MAJOR changes now and shift IMMEDIATELY away from the use of fossil fuels, Earth will be uninhabitable by 2300. That's not far down the road, folks. Do we give a damn or not?

    Rep. Noem and our other leaders need to be thinking about the future of our descendants, not about their political aspirations. What will Kristi's legacy be?

  2. Dana P. 2013.01.28

    the pipeline saga gets spinning again? And from Ms Noem? no way!!

    From what I understand, that 20,000 job figure? It translates into 20 permanent jobs, and 5000 temporary jobs. thus a four year project with 5,000 workerbees - equals - 20,000!! interesting math, Ms Noem. And what does happen to those supposed 5,000 jobs after the four year project is completed? And the 20 permanent jobs?? more than likely, they are current TransCanada employees transferred to the U.S. worksites to conduct their managerial responsibilities.

    97% of landowners are giving the ok for their land to be used this way? hmmmm. when people get loads of money waved in front of their faces - money that they would no doubt ever see in their lives - decisions like these are made. (especially when you have so-called "experts" telling you that this is a GOOD thing) But doesn't Ms Noem want to hear the concerns of the other 3% of folks that haven't signed on the dotted line yet? Oh well, gosh. Maybe those folks will turn up at one of her "numerous" chit chats. Because, you know, Ms Noem has alot of concern for the good ole South Dakotan way, and people who care about their land.

    And there is that dirty little elephant in the room, called Tar Sands. Does Ms Noem even know what that is OR the difference? Will she "come clean" and ever admit that the short cut that TransCanada wants to take through our country, only benefits their pockets (and the pockets of politicians lining their money chest), at a huge risk to all of us? And will she ever come clean (as you point out Cory) that the Tar Sands will just be hopping and a-skipping through our country, and onto another country? With the U.S. getting no benefit?

    Remind me again, South Dakotans. Why did you elect a person who is short on facts, and tall on self serving career direction?

  3. Rorschach 2013.01.28

    Can anyone explain why someone would have to lie to make their point, if the facts are on their side? Why don't Rep. Noem & Sen. Thune just admit that most, if not all, of the oil will be exported? Why don't they just admit that there will be few permanent jobs for Americans, and a smaller number of construction jobs? Everybody ought to agree on the facts and make their arguments from there.

  4. UnionCo 2013.01.28

    I am very happy to read the informed comments posted here. Nebraska took the lead and now the truth is catching on in SD as well. Letters I have received from both Noem and Thune repeated the Keystone propaganda verbatim.

  5. Douglas Wiken 2013.01.28

    The XL pipeline has the potential to pollute aquifers and the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers via the Cheyenne, Bad and White River crossings as well as aquifers in S C. South Dakota. Environmental protection by SD Republican government is a complete fraud.

  6. bret clanton 2013.01.28

    97% of the landowners being signed has more to do with the fact that the state of South Dakota has given them the power to condemn rather than loads of money of money being waved in their faces. Interesting enough is the fact the only non-signers left is South Dakota School and Public Lands....

  7. caheidelberger Post author | 2013.01.29

    Bret: no signature from Jarrod Johnson yet? What's up with that? Is it just a legal formality, maybe waiting for the federal permit?

  8. caheidelberger Post author | 2013.02.03

    Great link, Larry! Conservatives, to spare yourselves the agony of hearing me say I told you so, tell President Obama not to approve Keystone XL!

  9. Dana P. 2013.02.03

    Safety first! Keystone Pipeline had 12 leaks.....just in 2011! And they downplayed it.

    From a former Keystone Pipeline Inspector:

    "They didn't care, and that's why you've seen all these leaks already," Klink said. "And I worry that it's only a matter of time before there will be another disaster like the Deepwater Horizon -- only this time it won't be out on the water. It will be right in the middle of the country.

  10. caheidelberger Post author | 2013.02.03

    I will say this on leaks: after that first messy year, I haven't heard of any new leaks on Keystone. TransCanada appears to have tightened all the gaskets... either on the pipeline or on the press.

  11. phyllis cole-dai 2013.02.03

    Perhaps, Cory, and we can be grateful for the "tightening of the gaskets."

    However, how much oil is leaking that we don't know about, given that TC's monitoring system can't detect small leaks? And I have no confidence that the pipe will hold up longterm, do you?

    By the way, I published a rebuttal to Noem in yesterday's Brookings Register....

    Any of you who want to be involved in resistance to the Keystone XL, please be in touch with me. Resistance is being planned on many fronts. We've got to coordinate our efforts, increase our numbers and our visibility, and use an array of tactics. The deal ain't sealed....

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