A group of Liberal Democrats in the South Dakota legislature have introduced a legislative measure to require the Public Utilities Commission to defer to the federal government before any licensure measures for pipelines.
SENATE BILL NO. 134
Introduced by: Senator Heinert and Representatives Killer, Bordeaux, Gibson, Hawks, and Soli
FOR AN ACT ENTITLED, An Act to prohibit the Public Utilities Commission from granting certain permits until federal approval is granted.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA:
Section 1. That § 49-41B-24 be amended to read:
49-41B-24. Within twelve months of receipt of the initial application for a permit for the construction of energy conversion facilities, AC/DC conversion facilities, or transmission facilities, the commission shall make complete findings in rendering a decision regarding whether a permit should be granted, denied, or granted upon such terms, conditions or modifications of the construction, operation, or maintenance as the commission deems appropriate. If, however, the construction requires a Presidential Permit, which the President of the United States has the constitutional authority to require and the United States Secretary of State has the authority to approve under the provisions of Executive Order 13337, the commission may not grant a permit for the construction under this section until the Presidential Permit is approved.
This measure looks to be directed specifically at Keystone, and the recent action by the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission to continue approval of the pipeline.
So, these legislators want to demand that South Dakota submit to the strictures of an executive order issued by President Obama? Why don’t we just call this bill the “bow to Obama” bill, as they ask for South Dakota to cede authority of what happens within the boundaries of our state.
It is particularly telling that Paula Hawks appears as a sponsor on this bill. Because, it is exactly this type of measure Congresswoman Kristi Noem, as well as the rest of our Washington delegation has been fighting.
If South Dakota was unfortunate enough that Hawks would be sent to Washington, I wonder what other areas of sovereignty that she would demand the state knuckle under to Obama for in subservience to the federal government?