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Big Oil Front Group Hosts Pro-Keystone XL Meeting in Pierre January 27

Oh look: free breakfast and baloney from oil industry shills:

Consumer Group to host South Dakota Pipeline Safety Breakfast

Industry experts to converge in Pierre, South Dakota to discuss critical safety issues surrounding the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline

Pierre, SDConsumer Energy Alliance (CEA), an organization that advocates for energy consumers, will host a briefing to inform South Dakota legislators and staff about important pipeline safety issues surrounding the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline on Tuesday, January 27, 2015 at 8:30 a.m. CT. Breakfast will be provided for attendees.

  • What: South Dakota Pipeline Safety Breakfast hosted by CEA
  • When: Tuesday, January 27, 2015 from 8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. CT
  • Where: South Dakota Education Association Auditorium, 411 East Capitol Avenue, Pierre, South Dakota
  • Who: Moderator: Michael Whatley, CEA Executive Vice President; Brigham McCown, former administrator of the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA); Andrew Black, President and CEO of the Association of Oil Pipe Lines
  • RSVP: Credentialed media should RSVP to Kristin Marcell at or 215-504-4272.

Credentialed media—in other words, no bloggers or other amateurs allowed. (Say, where does one get an official journalist's license in South Dakota, anyway?)

The Consumer Energy Alliance is a front group for tar sands oil companies. The "moderator" for the January 27 Pierre event, Washington D.C. Lobbyist Michael Whatley, created the CEA to wage an astroturfy public-relations campaign against clean-fuel standards. Whatley has used CEA to create what his own e-mails call an "Echo Chamber" of industry press releases to promote Keystone XL since fall 2011. Brigham McCown is a Bush recount lawyer who got his PHMSA gig through cronyism, not pipeline safety expertise. Andrew Black's job is to lobby for pipelines on behalf of his organization's members, which include Keystone XL builder TransCanada. His degree is in economics and his experience is in media relations and politics, not engineering.

But hey, they're serving breakfast. Mmmm.

Update 07:43 CDT: If Whatley really wants to "moderate" a discussion, he should invite energy consumer Rick Weiland to expand on the thesis he offers in Sunday's Sioux Falls paper that Keystone XL simply feeds oil-industry greed.


  1. A motivational speaker I heard once said, "You are an expert if you SAY you are an expert!"--which struck me at the time as a little too easy. But I think in this case it applies: You are a credentialed journalist if your media organization says you are. So you as owner of Madville Times give yourself credentials as a representative of Madville Times. There, you're credentialed.

  2. mike from iowa 2015.01.20

    Here is what you face,big guy-

    I'm guessing you have two strikes against you already-being an independent and an activist,so to speak. :)

  3. bret clanton 2015.01.20

    This is right in line with Transcanadas latest game plan. In the past few months they have been having secret invite only meetings along the route of the pipeline. The people they are inviting are town boards, county commissioners, and chamber of commerce members. But it appears to me only people that have been supportive of their project. They have been bringing their local land agents and their new stakeholder reps. Mark Johnson and Shelly Ann Fredrick. From a personal viewpoint I find it very dis-heartening the way they have went into these small communities and turned friend against friend, neighbor against neighbor and elected officials against

  4. jerry 2015.01.20

    Interesting about the clandestine meetings with supportive landowners and their minions. The only way for them to win this is by these kinds of tactics of putting groups against groups. The rural against the town folk. What is missing is that we are one in the same here in South Dakota for the most part. It makes you wonder who is getting the payoffs and who is writing the checks.

  5. bret clanton 2015.01.20

    It would also seem that TransCanada is having a purge of some sort... They have changed stake-holder reps and agents up and down the line...They have also changed lobbyists in Pierre and added one......I would pay your gas money to go to this......wait a minute....why would I want to subject a friend to this bs...?

  6. leslie 2015.01.20

    when the 1st spill occurs in SD be it into a river or over an aquifer, remember montanas' reaction to exxon's 2011 yellowstone river pollution of 65,000 gallons extending from laurel 85 miles downstream. they were fined $3.4 million, paid clean up costs so far of $145 million, and montana is seeking long term studies of further damages. will SD be emasculated from forcing KXL accountability for its tar sands/heavy oil/diluent spills which will be inevitable? (last week at least 50,000 gallons in one hour polluted the yellowstone river AGAIN, near Glendive.)

  7. bret clanton 2015.01.20

    My spouse and I watched a movie called Promised Land starring Matt Damon. We laughed and laughed and cried because we have experienced virtually every scenario or a version thereof.......The only difference is that I suspect there will not be a hero at the end of this story.......

  8. Paul Seamans 2015.01.20

    The carcinogenic chemical, benzene, has been found in Glendive's water at three times allowable amounts due to the Bridger spill.

  9. jerry 2015.01.20

    Democrats put these amendments on the Keystone XL only to find them voted down. The fake Thune and the criminal Rounds voted to kill American jobs. This is not about workers, this is about Koch's greed and the willing pockets of those that support them. How much are the yokels getting for this betrayal of trust that was given to them by those that did the heavy lifting to give them a lasting legacy?

  10. mike from iowa 2015.01.21

    As the Senate was debating, the pipeline's developer, TransCanada Corp. moved Tuesday to seize access to the Nebraska land it needs to finish the $8 billion project — the first steps it's taken since the state's high court removed a major legal barrier.

    Foreign invasion and seizure of American assets,brought to you by the party of,fo and buy the rich. p.s. wingnuts blocked Dems attempts to keep all KXL fuels in America to benefit Americans.

  11. CLCJM 2015.01.21

    Jerry,agree with your comments about the oil spill in the Yellowstone flowing into the Missouri which goes past Pierre. Perhaps we should use aN Erin Brockvitch tactic and serve them up a tall pitcher of some of that water! WoulD love to see the look on their faces!!!

  12. Les 2015.01.21

    Greed suffers lightly in Harding, Bret. Our friends and your reps view the collateral as the end justify the means. He or she as landowners who stands against XL will be cast out, but only then will the story be heard.

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