Thursday, October 1, 2015

What!!?? A Company Wants To Build A Pipeline In SD But Won't Show Us Its Insurance Policies? They're Kidding, Right?

     This could be one of the craziest things I've ever heard.  A company called Dakota
The Pipeline Route
Lots Of Farms, Livestock And People Along The Way
(map from www.energytransfer)

wants to build an oil pipeline in eastern South Dakota that will be part of a longer line hauling North Dakota crude oil to southern Illinois. I'm sure it's mired in the predictable controversies that surround pipeline construction these days, with numerous issues being raised in its ongoing application hearings in front of South Dakota's Public Utilities Commission. Haven't really followed it much until I stumbled on to a story about it in Cory Heidelberger's blog Dakota Free Press, Cory is about as aghast as I am over the fact that Dakota Access doesn't want to let South Dakotans, who will live with pipeline for many decades hence, see the company's liability insurance policies.

     And not only will they not willingly provide the info, they'll "resist vigorously" a Sioux Falls lawyer's "request" to see those policies.  I mean, is this nuts or is this nuts?  Dakota Access wants us to approve plans for a pipeline that will enter South Dakota through Campbell County in north central SD and exit through Lincoln County to the extreme southeast--we're talking hundreds of miles--without so much as a cursory glance at the company's insurance policies?  And the grounds upon which company officials are rejecting the request?  The documents are "very sensitive."
     Well excuuuuuse us! Really, Dakota Access, we didn't mean to pry.  We understand that you're sensitive, that you've got "solid reasons" for withholding the documents, that  you're "not just
Company Officials Grilled In Sioux Falls Last Winter
Good Luck Putting These Folks Off, Dakota Access
(photo from
saying no," that you're "saying no for a reason." Honestly, we understand.  But you know what? Tough cookies.  It's the city of Sioux Falls, near which your pipeline will pass, that made the request to the PUC, get it?  A couple of hundred thousand South Dakotans concentrated in and around Sioux Falls want to know what kinds of back-up you have should there be an accident.  That you seem to be unwilling to accede to a request as simple and reasonable as that makes me wonder about your company and its lack of upfrontness with the people you'll be affecting with this project.

     Transparency is obviously an irrelevant aspect of this application process from your perspective, Dakota Access, but that makes it no less mandatory a requirement before we residents of South Dakota give you permission to move ahead.  My only quibble with the dialogue surrounding the story is the use of the word "request."  I think it should be changed to "demand."  


1 comment:

  1. Now that "the continent-spanning death-funnel aimed at transporting the world's dirtiest fossil fuel from the poisoned moonscape of Alberta down the spine of North America to Texas, where what already hasn't spilled out and killed ducks and bunny rabbits -- and the agricultural economy of half the country -- will be put on ships and sent out to the rest of the world" is deemed toast will the scandal-plauged Daugaard administration oppose this pipeline? Trans-Canada has a lousy record when it comes to leaky pipelines.