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Keystone XL Won’t Change Rail Investment in Hauling Oil

Senator-Elect Mike Rounds based his campaign on a series of laughable lies, including the claim that building the Keystone XL pipeline will drive trains to every farmer's doorstep to haul away their grain.

Would you believe the railroads themselves don't buy that argument? An eager reader sends me this BNSF newsletter from Winter 2013, before Republicans Doctor Moreau'ed Keystone XL and agricultural rail service, in which the company says Keystone XL will have little impact on its business choices:

Huge growth in Canadian crude oil production is expected in the next 20 years. In anticipation of the growth, many crude-loading facilities are currently under construction in Canada, and many more are being planned. Even if the Keystone XL pipeline is built, the growth in production is projected to exceed the capacity of the Keystone.

In addition, rail provides some unique advantages, including destination flexibility, and reduces time-to-market. Rail also has the potential to move the heavy bitumen crude with little to no diluent; pipelines require a diluent of 30 percent to flow. These all bring value to our customers, and so we see crude-by-rail being a key player in the Canadian market regardless of whether the Keystone XL is built [Teresa Perkins, "Oil Will Continue to Be Important Cargo at BNSF," Railway newsletter, Winter 2013].

Perkins says BNSF has invested $3 billion in crude oil rail facilities and tank cars (which can't haul grain). It would seem unlikely BNSF is going to let those assets sit idle just because Mike Rounds wants them to haul grain for a couple months a year. BNSF also contends that rail is cheaper and more flexible for Bakken shippers, which suggests Keystone XL is a non-starter for our North Dakota oil baron neighbors.

BNSF chief Matt Rose underlined this business analysis just last month:

BNSF Railway Executive Chairman Matt Rose says that even if the controversial Keystone would not take away business from BNSF. “I don’t think it would take business,” Rose says. “I think it would make the curve of our growth go down a little bit."

Rose tells Fox Business News that Keystone will not take away its crude oil business because the pipeline would largely carry heavy crude south, while pipelines won’t be able to handle all the crude oil destined for east and west coasts. BNSF is a major mover of crude oil from the Bakken formation ["Rose: Keystone Pipeline Won't Take Away from BNSF Oil Business," Trains, 2014.10.01].

We'll see how long it takes for business reality to set in with Mike Rounds and the pro-Keystone XL Republicans. The only pipeline we're going to need is the ink pipeline to load President Obama's veto pen against all of the Congressional Republicans bad ideas.


  1. John Tsitrian 2014.11.06

    Might take you on over at TCC, but one compelling point that is often overlooked is the way KXL can change global petro-politics and economic dynamics. Once completed, KXL makes the U.S. (which is already a net exporter of petro-fuels) a major exporter in the global markets. This gives us a lot of leverage in the world. For once, the rest of the world will depend on the U.S. for oil--not the other way around. The influx of foreign currency will be a bonanza in reducing our trade deficit and has to be a nice economic boost all the way around. As to the arguments you're making, meh. I can counter them point for point and probably will. En Garde!

  2. Paul Seamans 2014.11.06

    John Tsitrian, the oil coming from the tarsands in Alberta and piped through the KXL will not count as US oil as far as exports go, it is still Canadian oil and will count as such. The tarsands oil coming through Keystone 1 is allowed to be exported once it reaches Port Arthur, domestically produced US oil is presently not to be exported. Big effect on Canada's GDF, not so much on the United State's.
    Cory, I've read where BNSF is investing $5-$7 billion in yearly upgrades to it's rail system and I agree with you that it's not so they can haul grain just when some farmer decides he wants to sell. With crude oil shipments they will be transporting oil all day, every day.

  3. Greg 2014.11.06

    Cory I am not sure if the XL pipeline would make a huge difference in helping grain shippments. There is no railcar shortage but there is a shortage of engines to pull grain cars. If you didn't know you should that grain is shipped 12 months a year and not a seasonal 2 months. Quit minimizing the problems of shipping grain to end users Cory.

  4. Paul Seamans 2014.11.06

    Mike Rounds talks about how he will force approval of the Keystone XL and that he will get it built. President Obama can stop the KXL at the stroke of a pen, today if he wishes. The matter might be settled before Mike is ever sworn in.

  5. mike from iowa 2014.11.06

    I doubt that crook-elect Rounds is worrying about kxl or EB-5. He's busy being prepped for the first of many abortion outlawing bills,more guns for everyone and votes to make the bible our new constitution and impeach Obama and lastly more taxcuts for the koch bros as payback for buying another election.

  6. Nick Nemec 2014.11.06

    Mike, Mitch McConnell was all over the news yesterday and one of his self stated priorities is "tax reform". All I know is whenever Republicans talk tax reform shortly thereafter deficits skyrocket.

  7. Tim 2014.11.06

    All of the talk that Rounds and his supporting PAC's spewed to the of South Dakota to get him elected won't make any difference in KXL. He will just fall in line with Noem and Thune and do what he's told.

  8. larry kurtz 2014.11.06

    South Dakota has already been destroyed: KXL merely ices the cake.

  9. John Tsitrian 2014.11.06

    Beg to differ, Mr. Seamans. The Canadian crude will be shipped to Gulf Coast refiners, who will buy it, add value by turning it into market-ready products, then sell most if not all of it overseas as American products. Commodity producers rarely, if ever, are connected to the final product that comes of their work. By your analysis, ranchers who sell their calves to feedlots who then sell the slaughter-ready animals to meatpackers who then sell the product to grocers for retail distribution are the ultimate beneficiaries of those point-of-sale receipts.

  10. mike from iowa 2014.11.06

    I agree with both Nick and Tim. We don't have a spending problem in this country,unless it is wingnuts cutting taxes and spending like drunken sailors cuz taxcuts cause revenue increases.

  11. Tim 2014.11.06

    Nick, tax reform to republicans are tax cuts to the rich that are not paid for, then when those deficits do skyrocket, they blame democrats and start cutting things like food stamps, medicare, social security and the such. They have followed this practice for years and voters keep sucking it up.

  12. mike from iowa 2014.11.06

    Greg-rail cars for grain are high demand before fall harvest so elevators can take on the new crop coming out of the field. The rest of the year the demand is not as great and more grain can be shipped by truck. Most farmers I know tend to hold out for higher prices in spring and summer when demand for grain caused prices to climb. At harvest,prices trend downward because speculators are over-optimistic about the size of new crops.

  13. Nick Nemec 2014.11.06

    Absolutely Tim, they sell the trickle down false gospel that tax cuts will increase tax receipts. They never do, instead they decrease tax revenue and make it harder to balance the budget and set off another round of budget cuts, which was the plan all along. And the cuts are always aimed at social programs that help alleviate the poverty of the poorest.

  14. Steve Sibson 2014.11.06

    Cory, I agree that Rounds is one-sided and deceptive on issues, but you and the Obama Democrats have topped Rounds on using deception in order to promote crony capitalism.

    1). The tar sands oil will still be sent to the gulf refineries regardless of TransCanada's pipeline. If not approved, it will be going on Warren Buffett's railroad.
    2) Buffett is a huge Obama supporter. Obama is falsely using the environmentalism as cover to protect Buffett's railroad investment.
    3) Railroads too present environmental issues. Moving crude on trains produces more global warming gases than a pipeline, the State Department said.

    And because railroads uses more energy than pipelines, it will cost more to use Buffett's railroad than TransCanada' pipeline. And have any of you heard of railroads derailing and spilling their cargo?

    This issue is a battle between Democratic crony capitalism verses the GOP's crony capitalism. Both sides are not giving us the hole story, and neither are you Cory.

  15. Jeff Endrizzi 2014.11.06

    A pipeline would reduce congestion on the tracks, free up train engines to pull grain, coal, and ethanol cars, and free up railroad crews for the same purpose. Anyone dealing with the railroad has experienced the problems with the overloaded system. Take away some of the traffic and the problem is reduced.

  16. Nick Nemec 2014.11.06

    The "hole" in this story is the giant hole in Canada there they dig this stuff out of the ground, the hole that's slowly refilling with contaminated water.

  17. larry kurtz 2014.11.06

    West River geology makes KXL untenable.

  18. Paul Seamans 2014.11.06

    Mr. Tsitrian, I am assuming that the Gulf Coast refineries are already operating at or near capacity. Any Canadian oil will simply replace oil from Venezuela or from our friendly trading partner to the south, Mexico. Unless new refineries are built, which hasn't happened for 20 years, then there will be no increase in the output of refined products and no net gain to the US economy. If the oil is not refined in the US and is exported as crude then again virtually no net gain for our economy. 830,000 barrels per day exported from the Gulf, 830,000 bpd imported from Canada. The KXL is an export pipeline, was designed as such, and will be of very little benefit to US citizens.

  19. Steve Sibson 2014.11.06

    Nick, that hole is going to be created even without new pipelines.

  20. Steve Sibson 2014.11.06

    You are right Paul. This is a battle between members of the ruling elite. And we are being used and manipulated as political pawns

  21. Steve Sibson 2014.11.06

    But Keystone was blocked. And why? In my opinion, it was not for environmental or safety reasons, but because BNSF (Burlington Northern Santa Fe) Railroad is owned by Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway. And, as most of us know, Buffet is Obama’s pet billionaire and BNSF is the largest rail carrier of crude oil. Keystone would have taken a huge chunk of business from Buffet.

    “Rail and supporting non-pipeline modes should be capable … of providing the capacity needed to transport all incremental Western Canadian and Bakken crude oil production to markets if there were no additional pipeline projects approved,” the State Department said early last year.

    The State Department report estimates that shipping Alberta’s heavy crude by pipeline costs about $10 per barrel, with rail in the $15 to $18 per barrel range. Yet some producers told Reuters that shipping by train to the Gulf Coast could cost as much as $30 per barrel. Small wonder gas prices remain as high as they are.


  22. larry kurtz 2014.11.06

    South Dakota has two state-long east/west railroads: the southern route is currently active only east of the Missouri River.

    Genesee & Wyoming, the intended buyer of the business being conducted on the west end of the state-owned track, has a record of dumping Bakken crude. Canadian Pacific currently operates on the right of way that intersects the proposed Keystone XL pipeline at Philip where rail cars carrying diluted bitumen could be loaded then increase traffic through Pierre, Huron and maybe Brookings.

    Coal-glutted rail traffic has created a bottleneck in the Powder River Basin and Bakken oil has stalled traffic on Burlington Northern Santa Fe track in both Dakotas.

    At least two campaign workers for a former South Dakota governor's US Senate bid could be recipients of a rail deal being negotiated with federal money.

  23. Nick Nemec 2014.11.06

    Steve, any advice on which group of crony capitalists we should side with?

  24. jerry 2014.11.06

    Gas prices are about as fake as pharmaceutical prices are. We are addicted and like any good street dealer, they keep you supplied at a cost. Plenty of tankers full of good crude off the coast so why unload and cause the prices to drop when there is so much moolah to be had by the gullible addicted fools on the street.

  25. mike from iowa 2014.11.06

    I hear,on a regular basis,Sibby derail himself and spew his cargo.

  26. Paul Seamans 2014.11.06

    The proposed ONEOK pipeline that was to run through eastern Montana and Wyoming and carry Bakken crude was dropped because of lack of producer interest. The Bakken crude will continue to be shipped by rail even if pipelines are built. Why build a slew of pipelines from the Bakken if in 20 to 40 years they will be running empty and become useless. On the other hand when the Bakken runs dry the BNSF can be used for other purposes.

  27. Jeff Endrizzi 2014.11.06

    Paul, there is a current problem with congestion on the BNSF and other railroads in the upper midwest. A pipeline can be built significantly quicker than adequate rail can be built.

  28. larry kurtz 2014.11.06

    There is enough plastic in US landfills to make KXL obsolete on the drawing board and enough in the Pacific garbage stream to replace every oil well in North America.

  29. mike from iowa 2014.11.06

    The most money Buffet has given to one candidate was $100,00 to Nebraska's Dem Goobernatorial candidate this year. The most Obama has received is $65,000. Buffet doesn't give to PACs.
    Obama can be bought cheap,it seems.

  30. Paul Seamans 2014.11.06

    Jeff Endrizzi, building a pipeline and getting Bakken producers to use them are two entirely different things. If producers prefer to ship by rail then how do you force them to use the pipeline instead?

  31. Steve Sibson 2014.11.06

    Nick, if we are doing the tar sands, then it seems for both cost and environmental reasons, we should use pipelines and not railroads. If there was no crony capitalism and a free market made the decision, we would be using pipelines. Of course the free market may turn to North Dakota fracking and not tar sands oil. But big government regulators and the crony capitalists are making decisions, not us consumers.

  32. Jana 2014.11.06

    Canada Wants Money and China needs Oil.

    They only get what they want if John Thune and Mike Rounds take away South Dakota landowner rights.

    Seriously? A Canadian company is given preferential treatment to take family farmland so they can send oil to China?

    Who do these guys represent?!?

  33. Jana 2014.11.06

    Family farmers are stand up people. They might buy the ever changing song and dance from Mike Rounds, but if it were their land that the Canadians wanted you can bet their would be a fight.

    Hey family farmers...stand up for your neighbor and protect his rights and tell those hosers from Canada to stick to hockey.

  34. Jana 2014.11.06

    My English teacher just rolled over in her grave...Sorry Mrs. Larson...but darn it, this is important!

  35. Jana 2014.11.06

    Their and there.

  36. Lanny V Stricherz 2014.11.06

    There are several issues on here that I am amazed never became issues during the campaign.

    1. Paul Seaman's assertion at 7:43 is absolutely correct. Why did the other three Senate candidates continue to let MMR make the assertion, as Mitch McConnell did yesterday that now that they have control of the Senate, the KXL will be passed.

    2. Why wasn't the 90% shortage of property taxes to the school districts from the Keystone 1 made an issue?

    3. MMR talked about cutting taxes. How does he think that we racked up an 18 trillion dollar debt with deficit spending as far into the future as we can see? We cut taxes twice while fighting three wars, if you include the "war on terror" and are looking to open a fourth one in Ukraine, when MMR joins John McCain and Lindsay Graham as our saber rattlers in chief.

    4. Put your sword away John T. It wouldn't even be able to be handicapped. I have had a horrible time trying to figure how you can reconcile the Keystone XL and the damage it could do to the Ogallala aquifer and also endanger the rest of the water in Western SD, when you are (and correctly so, I might add) so opposed to the Powertech proposed uranium mine in the Edgemont area, and for the same reasons that you approve the Keystone XL????

  37. Steve Sibson 2014.11.06

    "They only get what they want if John Thune and Mike Rounds take away South Dakota landowner rights."

    Railroads do the same thing Jana.

  38. larry kurtz 2014.11.06

    Run Bakken crude through Mitchell.

  39. larry kurtz 2014.11.06

    Better yet: just dump the dilbit and crude into the James and let it flow down the river and load it on ships at New Orleans.

  40. John Tsitrian 2014.11.06

    Mr. Seamans, 2 million/bbl a day is shipped into Gulf port refineries. The 800,000 bbl/day coming from Canada is likely to replace much if not all of that shipped crude, mainly because it's cheaper. Here's a piece from CNN last year that notes because oil piped in from Canada is indeed cheaper than shipped oil, "refiners would likely opt for the Canadian crude." I think your assumptions are shaky, and that Venezuelan and other shippers will be elbowed out of the Gulf market. Take the last word:

  41. John Tsitrian 2014.11.06

    Correction. Obviously Canadian oil won't replace all of the shipped oil coming in to Gulf ports, just the 800,000 bbl/day brought in by KXL.

  42. Daniel Buresh 2014.11.06

    Lots of good discussion here if the rhetoric can stop. All the off-topic zingers really show who want to analyze the issue and put partisan nonsense away. This isn't about abortion. Blaming Thune and Rounds for KXL while Obama is going to push it through is a somewhat amazing analysis imo. If it were up to environmental risks, the pipeline will pass. Both sides know the oil is coming out of the ground and coming through the country. It's just a matter of how. I don't mind have Canadian Crude on rails as I mind bakken oil on rails. Just look at Casselton ND or Lac-Mégantic Quebec. We also need to remember how many American pipelines run across Canadian soil to our Alaskan oil fields.

  43. Steve Sibson 2014.11.06

    When a fire began in the engine of the lead locomotive, in keeping with railway instructions, emergency responders shut off the engine, which subsequently caused the air holding the locomotive air brakes to leak off. Without enough force from the handbrakes, the train began rolling downhill toward Lac-Mégantic, just over seven miles away. As it moved down the grade, the train picked up speed, reaching a top speed of 65 mph. It derailed near the centre of town at about 1:15 a.m.

    Almost all of the derailed tank cars were damaged, and many had large breaches. About six million litres of petroleum crude oil was quickly released. The fire began almost immediately, and the ensuing blaze and explosions left 47 people dead. Another 2000 people were forced from their homes, and much of the downtown core was destroyed.

    Pipeline or railroad? TransCanada vs Warren Buffett. Who wants to continue to argue that because of environmental reasons, we should not allow the pipeline?

  44. larry kurtz 2014.11.06

    West River geology makes KXL untenable and there are multiple realistic alternatives to sending a product to China while the Bakken flares enough gas to make it obsolete on the drawing board.

  45. Bill Fleming 2014.11.06

    No one here concerned with carbon dioxide emissions?

    It's my understanding that if we are going to halt the process of climate change, we need to burn fewer fossil fuels. That means less oil (regardless of which kind or how it's shipped) and coal doesn't it?

    Is it out of the question to suggest that a most if not all of the fuel were talking about here will best benefit humankind over the long run if it's simply left in the ground?

    Just sayin'.

  46. Daniel Buresh 2014.11.06

    On that note of CO2, Rail lines have a much larger impact than pipelines do when it comes to emissions. Keeping it in the ground is a much better idea, but it simply is not realistic at this point.

  47. larry kurtz 2014.11.06

    Curious whether the newly elected earth haters would allow single-payer health care for a pipeline with targets painted on every section.

  48. Bill Fleming 2014.11.06

    Daniel, because...?

  49. Wayne pauli 2014.11.06

    Can we find the truth someplace about this project? I see friends arguing with friends, and one lie does not warrant the next. To date I have opposed this pipeline because I do not see a positive economic inpact. Help me understand.

    Larry brings up a great geology point, and I want to add a bit of farmer logic. I grew up less than 10 miles from where this pipeline would go through Tripp County. My Dad (God rest his soul) always said that there was two kinds of concrete...cracked and concrete that will crack. We also had multiple artesian wells on the farm...seemed like often we had pipeline repairs to make. Now, I realize that KXL will be deep, but Tripp County is constantly shifting.

  50. Bill Fleming 2014.11.06 everybody else out of oil but us? Is that why the price of it dropped?

  51. Daniel Buresh 2014.11.06

    "Daniel, because...?"

    Unless we cut our population in half or revert our lifestyles drastically, I don't see our oil usage dropping until there is a more efficient renewable resource. Buyers will be there.

  52. larry kurtz 2014.11.06

    The railroads between Ft. Pierre and Rapid and between Chamberlain and Rapid are virtually unmaintainable because of Cretaceous shale.

  53. Paul Seamans 2014.11.06

    Mr. Tsitrian, I find it hard to believe that tarsands crude strip mined in Alberta and transported 1700+ miles to the Gulf would be cheaper than the conventionally produced heavy oil from Mexico. Are we to promote crude oil from Canada because they are our friends and let Canadian crude crowd out Mexican crude? Are not the Mexican people also our friends? Isn't the Mexican oil industry in the process of being privatized and won't the Gulf refineries have access to a lot of this crude? I repeat, the KXL will become nothing more than an export pipeline

  54. larry kurtz 2014.11.06

    Know why there is no railroad between Belle Fourche and the Bakken? Because it would break up every year just like US85 does.

  55. Bill Fleming 2014.11.06

    Oh. Efficient. I see. So we have to destroy our atmosphere with maximum efficiency. I guess that's why I'm not an economist. I never understand these things very well..

  56. Jana 2014.11.06

    OK free market mavens. Here's the question for you. What is the value of taking family farmland and exposing our water sources and land to the risk of oil spills while at the same time increasing our own South Dakota gasoline prices?

    So the math is welling out to a foreign company + risk + higher gas prices.

    I would hope that our old governor drove a hard bargain and got at least as much if not more for this deal.


  57. Jana 2014.11.06

    "Selling" not welling.

  58. Les 2014.11.06

    You are exactly right on XL, Paul. Trans Can only allowed for the onramp from the Bakken to create the appearance of flowing US oil for a benefit to our country.
    Tar is just that. The flow is diluted and must be kept flowing so it doesn't congeal. A problem when it leaks is how do they keep the pressure up so it doesn't cool?

  59. Jim 2014.11.06

    Bill, NPR reported yesterday the price oil was up $20 a barrel following the election. The election of all those R's is a chum line for big oil, and now they are ready to feed.

  60. Roger Cornelius 2014.11.06

    Are there any other states besides South Dakota and Nebraska where the KXL passes through having the same issues as we do?

  61. larry kurtz 2014.11.06

    Nicole Augenti, Esq. ‏@Nicole1515
    Did I just hear dude on @CNBC say oil is going to the $50s??

  62. W R Old Guy 2014.11.06

    Oil was at $77.95 a few minutes ago. Sibby, you left a few key things out of your Lac-Megantic disaster. The investigation revealed a number of things happened that lead to the wreck. The locomotive in question had been in the shop for repairs. The repairs were not done properly. The railroad (a regional) used one person crews. The only crew member was the engineer who parked the train and did not set the handbrakes on the proper number of cars to hold the train in place if the brakes lost air pressure. The volunteer Fire Dept. acted as trained shutting the engine that was on fire down. It was the only running engine and air pressure to the brakes. was lost. It was a terrible disaster but we have gone through the same type incidents (with fewer deaths) but larger areas and population evacuated in accidents involving LPG/Propane, Anhydrous Ammonia, Ethanol, and a number of other hazardous materials. Ethanol is normally shipped by train because it is subject to contamination from moisture. It burns just as readily as gasoline. It also requires special foam to fight as it is a polar solvent instead of a petroleum base. The Lac-Megantic disaster would have had the same outcome if it was a unit train of ethanol.

    The Keystone XL will take up to 100,000 barrels of oil a day but remember the key words are "up to". A 100 car unit train will take 70,000 barrels of oil. 2 trains with three locomotives and a crew of two (conductor and engineer) per train will exceed the amount Keystone XL will carry. The projected output for Bakken is over 2,000,000 barrels a day. Rail also allows the producers to ship to the market that is paying the best price. The railroads have a capacity problem and are spending as much as the budget allows. Most of the railcars are owned by private companies. They are trying to increase the number of cars available but the backlog for new cars is in the two to three year time frame. These companies are going to contract their railcars to the shipper that produces the most income on a steady basis. Grain is normally shipped in covered hopper cars. Fracking sand is also shipped in covered hoppers. A pipeline will do nothing to free up those cars.

    What about the situation in Nebraska over the landowner's rights? I believe it's still in the courts. Would the feds giving the OK for construction overrule the state? Our local politicians are always wanting the states to have control but I suppose they support the biggest donors.

  63. Bill Fleming 2014.11.06

    Why is the pipeline cheaper than shipping by train, I wonder. Is it maybe because they don't have to hire as many peop... whoops... better not bring up jobs, I guess. It takes 42,000 people to do the pipeline thing right? That's what our new Senator said anyway. Maybe the train would only... ah, never mind.

  64. Steve Sibson 2014.11.06

    "Why is the pipeline cheaper than shipping by train"

    Because trains use more energy, which means more global warming.

  65. mike from iowa 2014.11.06

    A study of the Alaska pipeline(North Slope) concluded a spill rate of 0-2 spills over 500 bbls per 1 billion barrels of oil shipped. Since the pipeline was built there have been nearly 1800 spills of a least 1 bbl.

    I wonder how many spills of 500 bbls the Og. Aquifer can handle berore it becomes unusable for anything other than fracking?

  66. jerry 2014.11.06

    Game, set, match on that query, brief and to the point with CSX. Plus, they can get it to where the customer wants it more efficiently.

  67. leslie 2014.11.06

    Dr. James Hansen, who heads NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, calculates KXL will carry enough tar sands oil to raise the level of CO2 on Earth by 200 parts per million (ppm). Eighteen American scientific organizations support the consensus view that excess CO2, which is at its highest level in the last 800,000 years (392 ppm), is warming our planet.

  68. Troy 2014.11.06

    I think that the SDDP and its candidates should continue to make opposition to pipelines a central campaign theme.

  69. larry kurtz 2014.11.06

    South Dakota should consider erecting a perimeter fence.

  70. larry kurtz 2014.11.06

    Electrify it so nothing escapes.

  71. Donald Pay 2014.11.06

    It's funny how Republicans, particularly Rounds (R-Federal Penitentiary) and his apologists, forget all about "states' rights" and "10th Amendment" arguments when billionaires and foreigners throw money at them. Nebraska and South Dakota have not made the necessary decisions. Obama understands the Constitutional reasons why the federal government should wait for the states to complete permitting. Republicans sold out their supposed "principles" and the Midwest for a few dollars. It really shows us how the oil industry and the billionaires' priorities, not the middle class, are what the Republican Party cares about to make this their top priority.

  72. Les 2014.11.06

    I think our party should make damn sure the landowners are protected as fully as possible. Not a veto on a spill fund capped at a measly 32Mil. I welcome a pipe or ten on my land if I am rewarded annually monetarily and with guarantees that my fellow citizens(you Troy) don't have either pay the clean up or leave me to suffer the consequences of the Havoline 10w30 swamp if a spill occurs.

    Don't go blaming the SD Dems for their inabilities,'s all Frankenfeld's fault. Oh, and mine too.

  73. larry kurtz 2014.11.06

    les, your party should consider self-immolating en masse.

  74. Les 2014.11.06

    I think it's been considered, "Lar".

  75. leslie 2014.11.06

    "pipelines". KXL is one, troy. come back to gloat i see? welcome. do you understand why this one pipeline has been held up? the factual reason, not the spin.

  76. Donald Pay 2014.11.06

    When it comes to Republican priorities it comes down to a fight between corrupt Republican Senators as to which billionaires and which special interests they intend to serve first. So there's a big fight breaking out as to whether the Republicans' first priority ought to be forcing the Keystone XL pipeline over the objections of landowners and Midwest states or whether the first order of business ought to be forcing the Yucca Mountain nuclear dump down the throats of the sovereign state of Nevada. "States' rights" don't mean a goddamn thing to Republicans. It's all about the corruption.

  77. grudznick 2014.11.06

    Mr. Pay, do you fear that this nationwide rejection of certain libbie ideals will enhance the likelihood of a nuclear storage dump being placed near Provo, SD? I believe that during my lifetime in the next 2 years we will see certain ecological shiftings in the belief of the masses.

  78. Lanny V Stricherz 2014.11.06

    Naw Grudz, not the masses. The earth haters who have taken complete control of the national legislature already believe those things but they will never be able to convince the masses that oil, coal, nuclear aren't all destructive of the planet, because the masses cannot protect themselves from the shit sandwich that the earth haters will be trying to serve up.

  79. mike from iowa 2014.11.07

    How long before wingnuts want to cut back on oil drilling to drive prices up for the koch bros? Dumbass dubya did because oil companies couldn't survive on $15 a bbl oil in 2001.

  80. larry kurtz 2014.11.11

    "CRST called on state agencies to respect South Dakota’s commitment to government-to-government relationships when addressing tribal concerns, and it called on U.S. President Barack Obama to reduce U.S. “reliance on the world’s dirtiest and most environmentally destructive form of oil – the tar sands – that threatens all populations….”"

  81. Les 2014.11.11

    The intervention should be interesting. Mercer and Ross need to come up to speed and help educate our citizens on the very real liabilities compared to the exaggerated claims of employment and taxes.
    No SD oil will run in that pipe. No ND oil will run in that pipe. This is all about tar and unknown chemicals cutting through the heart of SD leaving a very unknown legacy for generations to come.
    This is also all about taking rights from SD landholders and giving it to a foreign nation based upon numbers no less fraudulent than the EB5 statements of job creation.

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