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Keystone XL Won’t Free Railcars for Farmers; Use Eminent Domain to Ship Corn?

While Corinna Robinson talked sense about the Keystone XL pipeline (risk to water supplies, oil shipped to China, jobs nowhere near as numerous or impactful as TransCanada pretends), I hear Rep. Kristi Noem is trying to spread the flow by arguing that TransCanada's tar sands pipeline will free up more rail capacity for farm products.

Alas, farmers are buying this baloney:

Farmers and ranchers have a stake in the Keystone XL project, said Randy Miiller, who farms near Mount Vernon.

Miiller said trucks carrying oil from North Dakota are damaging roads in South Dakota. Meanwhile, the oil companies have been driving up the cost of rail for farmers. There is less rail capacity for farm products, and it's more expensive.

"Without the XL pipeline, to me it's a slow cancer to all the farmers," Miiller said. "It's going to kill us" [Jonathan Ellis, "Noem, Robinson Disagree on Keystone XL Pipeline," that Sioux Falls paper, 2014.08.19].

Pssst, Randy! Did you notice that the first Keystone pipeline through East River didn't do diddly to free up rail cars for your corn? That pipeline isn't moving any Bakken crude. 92% of the oil in Keystone XL will be Canadian oil. Even if Bakken producers can get any oil into Keystone XL, they might still prefer to use your rail cars, since they get access to more refineries.

Here's a thought, farmers and Republican Congress critters: if you really think the rail shortage is critical, why not entertain some other, less risky solutions? Instead of eminent domaining West River landowners to transfer their property rights to a private foreign corporation, why not impose on the railroad corporations' rights? Why not require that, at the peak of the harvest, the railroads give priority to American agricultural products?

If we're going to use eminent domain, shouldn't we use it for American interests? And what meets American interests more: shipping mostly Canadian oil, or shipping American corn?


  1. Don Carr 2014.08.26

    Bakken ≠ Tar Sands.

  2. jerry 2014.08.26

    You nailed it Cory! That is the elephant in the room that clever girls like NOem use to baffle farmers with. NOem can bat those eyes and grin that little smile and they melt like ice cream on a July afternoon. Wake the hell up farmers, you are getting sold a bill of goods that will kill your family farms as sure as the wind blows in South Dakota. We the people have the power of eminent domain to force the railroads into providing the shipping lanes as we actually own those rights of ways. Don't get Presslered into thinking that you have no power over what is yours.

    Remember Pressler? Yep, he was the feller whose telecommunication bill stripped ownership of the airways to the private sector. How is that working for us now? I dunno, let me check my internets statement. Yep, I am getting screwed just the rest of you.

  3. Paul Seamans 2014.08.26

    Rather than 92% of the oil in the KXL being tarsands crude it will be closer to 100%. According to landowners in the area the onramp promised to Montana for Bakken crude shows no signs of ever being developed. Harold Hamm of Continental Resources, the biggest player in the Bakken, has stated that even after allowing for increased shipping costs that he nets $24 more per barrel of oil from shipping by rail due to the ability to ship where the oil is in demand. Harold Hamm won't be switching from rail to shipping via the KXL anytime soon. I like the idea of using eminent domain to force the railroads to ship grain, makes as much sense as forcing ranchers to give up use of their land to ship Canada's tarsands crude to the Gulf.

  4. mike fro iowa 2014.08.26

    Great link,Larry K. Loved all the times US consumption of gasoline made from this shit was mentioned. Should alleviate everyone's fears that this stuff is going overseas. NOT!

  5. larry kurtz 2014.08.26

    thanks mike: yeah, i'm full of it fer sure but kxl makes a fine distraction from bp getting more gulf leases.

    stupid species.

  6. 90 Schilling 2014.08.26

    Facts on how you're getting screwed, Jerry?

  7. 90 Schilling 2014.08.26

    Continental has been out of the onramp for some time. Don't need it, don't want it. XL, sits alongside BNSF shipping liquid coal to China while Buffet ships the hard stuff and we subsidize the whole works.

  8. jerry 2014.08.26

    Speed of connection, price of the speed of connection. Surcharges on to of surcharges that exist because of the need for surcharges. I dunnot 90 Schilling if you check your billing statements. If you do not, perhaps you should.

    Spend a couple of schillings and go to Europe to try out their everyday systems. I always tend to think that the proof is in the pudding as they say. I have done so and found them to be less expensive and one hell of a lot quicker. Here is 2012

    Here is 2013

    I actually did not believe this to be true until I saw it for myself and it totally pissed me off. We are in the richest country in the world, people die to come here and this is the best we can offer? Nonsense, if we could kill the Pressler bill and start over, we would all be in a much better situation than the just a little better than dial up we have now.

  9. 90 Schilling 2014.08.26

    I will not argue with someone that says Europe has better connectivity than the US. Obviously you have spent no time there.

  10. jerry 2014.08.26

    I have spent plenty of time in Europe 90 schilling, and plan on spending plenty more. I am also quite fond of the train and public systems that are available there as well. The high speed trains are really something that they also have that is much better for folks to get around in. I am also capable of reading facts that others have actually put some time into doing research and so on. I know it is somewhat difficult to imagine that our system sucks, but such is life and as long as good folks like yourself seem to think otherwise, why would the powers to be want to correct it and make it better?

  11. 90 Schilling 2014.08.26

    You tell untrue tales of the connectivity in Europe. High speed trains must be your connectivity. Put those facts up for review. Btw if you happen to have a military past, a US base is not Europe.

  12. jerry 2014.08.26

    Of course you know it all and I just report the facts that you requested. I know that facts are not something that your kind gets along with very well. So you can scream all the untruths you wish, but I provided the facts that prove my case. All you can do is deny them. Hey, the earth is not flat either, do I need to get a globe that proves that? The sun does not disappear because the earth swallowed either and then spit it out towards the east.

    I was not in the military in Europe either, I have family there. I suppose you were in the military there though, so thanks for your service if you were.

  13. 90 Schilling 2014.08.26

    Where are these facts? A link? I had family in Ireland and currently have family in France and Germany. Connectivity is improving but still similar to dial up in many areas. Now you roam from connectivity to high speed trains to a flat earth. I guess, facts is facts even in the Cuckoos Nest.

  14. jerry 2014.08.26

    Yawn, 90 schilling is so like you, a flat beer with no taste.

  15. 90 Schilling 2014.08.26

    More facts. Keep em coming. Doing a great job of proving up on XL!

  16. jerry 2014.08.26

    You are correct flat beer dude, you drifted from the topic. Yes, we must enforce the eminent domain to allow the trains to support agriculture.

  17. Charlie Johnson 2014.08.27

    A underground oil pipeline is being surveyed by Dakota Access LLC to ship Bakken oil to Illinois. The line is scheduled to come through southern Lake County and my organic farm.

  18. Lynn 2014.08.27


    Are area farmers fighting this? A spill or contamination would be especially devastating to an organic farming operation.

  19. jerry 2014.08.27

    They are following the same script as the Keystone XL with the same bullshit promise of "8,000 jobs" as well. The Nebraska folks got the XL slowed and potentially stopped by being smart and tactful in their attacks. This must be handled the same way as it will go through our waterways which has the potential of destroying our way of life here. One has to only look as far as Ellsworth Air Force Base to see what happens when water is contaminated.

  20. bret clanton 2014.08.27

    Fight for an annual payment Charlie.....These companies have to concede to this concept eventually...The one-time payments on perpetual easements has got to go away....

  21. Tara Volesky 2014.08.27

    Thune said 40,000 jobs. He lobbies for big oil.

  22. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.08.27

    A Canadian company wants to put a pipeline through northern MN. That's Lakes and Nature Central in MN. Leaks will be devastating. (There Will Be Leaks.) So Minnesotans and government agencies are pushing back pretty hard for a less pristine route. I wonder if SD people are talking with like-minded folks in MN about how to at least get a less odorous route.

  23. jerry 2014.08.27

    Deb, when the United States Department of State is in cahoots with these crook and liars by doing their bidding, they can do as they want to with impunity. They are supposed to have the say on any type of border crossings.
    The rich could give a crap if there is oil in the water, they can afford to buy whatever it is they need.

  24. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.08.27

    Jerry, I agree with you on many of the wealthy, and, to an extent, about the State Department. Some states, like MN, have more power than others.

    You know, I don't want to give anyone the impression that MN is perfect. There is a deal to put another light rail line in a location that doesn't make a lot of sense. Could be something fishy going on there. And I still think the Vikings stadium deal is crap. Plus, they want to put an image of Adrian Peterson on it. He's also known as the poster boy for absentee fathers everywhere. He doesn't even know how many children he has!

    Just sayin . . .

  25. jerry 2014.08.30

    Stealth this and stealth that, crooked EB-5 and all of the rest of the republican inspired ways to screw you and steal you blind all the while beating the drum of "conservatism". Want to know what conservatism really means, it means theft by deception.

  26. jerry 2014.08.30

    These articles speak volumes of how the koch's would treat the states in which the oil catatrophes would happen. "Not my fault, don't look at me. waaaaa, have Obama clean it up". Here is conservatism at its finest.

  27. jerry 2014.08.30

    Some time back, I made a statement about France having faster high speed than the United States. I found this today and will take back some of what I said...but only if you live in Chattanooga, Tennessee. If you are like me, and do not live there, then your service is second France, South Korea and the list goes on. Corporate giveaways with the internet are no different than corporate giveaways to transfer ownership of the land to the special interests that are stealing the lifeblood of this great country. Take it back and vote for Weiland for starters.

  28. jerry 2014.08.30

    Oh man, Deer River is a very beautiful place. Much wilderness and just plain beauty. Years ago, I was fortunate to spend some time in that area and well tell you that it was worth the bug spray (those mosquitoes don't give up there). That wild rice is abundant there and watching it harvested, is impressive. I hope those good folks in Minnesota wake up and realize what they are doing and what they are loosing, I am surprised the tribe is allowing this to happen. This is not a bad date, this is a shotgun wedding to the dirtiest bunch of creatures there ever was, oil scum. Take a look at Darth Cheney, then you know who you are going to bed with.

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