Governor Kristi Noem’s Weekly Column: The Sad Story of Keystone

The Sad Story of Keystone
By: Governor Kristi Noem 

It may seem cliché, but energy independence is a matter of national security. The United States is a net exporter of energy, which means that we can guarantee our ability to provide for our own energy needs, no matter what situation that the world may throw at us.

With that in mind, I was terribly disheartened to hear that President Biden cancelled the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, which would have helped secure America’s energy independence for years to come.

This issue strikes close to home for us here in South Dakota. Last year, TC Energy – the company building the pipeline – estimated that the project would bring 3,500 jobs to our state. Many of those jobs were already in place, as crews were laying the groundwork for the eventual pipeline itself.

But the impact to the South Dakota economy extends far beyond the direct pipeline jobs. Local businesses – hotels, gas stations, restaurants, and more – benefited from the business brought by these workers.

One such business was the Stroppel Hotel and Mineral Springs in Midland. Laurie Cox, the owner of that business, has said that the Keystone workers who stayed at her hotel for months have become like family. She says that she and other local business owners “responded to a need that was in the community” when they invested and grew these small businesses. And now, it doesn’t appear that those investments will pay off for her or her neighbors.

But the impact of this decision goes beyond even the communities directly next to the proposed pipeline route. The pipeline would have helped every family in South Dakota because it would have saved them money on gas for their car, or their gas bill at home. Instead, citizens across South Dakota – and Americans nationwide – should expect to see their gas prices increase in the months and years to come as a result of the Biden administrations actions on oil and gas policy.

We all remember the days when gas was three dollars-per-gallon or higher. Thankfully, that hasn’t happened since 2014. But it appears that we can expect far higher gas prices in the very near future.

Cancelling the pipeline is the wrong policy on national security. It’s the wrong policy on jobs. But it’s also the wrong policy on the environment.

Opponents of Keystone claim that they’re supporting the environment. But the pipeline would have made it safer to transport oil from an environmental standpoint. The alternative is to transport it by truck or train – far riskier methods of transit. And the pipeline itself would have been Net-Zero emissions from the day it began operations, according to TC Energy.

Congressman Dusty Johnson is taking the lead on legislation that would get the Keystone XL pipeline reauthorized, and he has my support in this endeavor. We’ll continue to fight to defend South Dakota communities from federal overreach. And I promise to work every day to help South Dakota small business owners like Laurie Cox.


10 thoughts on “Governor Kristi Noem’s Weekly Column: The Sad Story of Keystone”

  1. What to unpack in this trash. One anecdotal story about a hotelier making an imprudent business decision is proof dispositive of the egregious hardships that we all face from no Keystone XL. Where were you when Bigstone 2 cratered? At least that project actually guaranteed a long term positive growth opportunity for South Dakota. You were pretty quiet on that. Second, didn’t you bail out the Midland hotel with the stimulus grants? Heck, you even gave several hundred thousand to a hotel con artist that didn’t pay their taxes. Finally, throwing down the government overreach card? Really? Must have forgotten how you did not help South Dakota landowners from being steamrolled by a Canuck company wielding eminent domain; a power given to it by the U.S. feds. If you are going to scold, belittle, and go ethos freak on us, make sure you have your story straight. One final thought….what made you think the pipe workers would even stay there? Boutique hoteliery and pipeline field workers do not usually intersect.

    1. Nonymouse,
      I traveled throughout western portion of South Dakota for work over the past spring and summer and met with many of these hard-working business owners. They were all excited about the Keystone XL, yet cautious. I can tell you from first-hand experience that their business decisions were based on the fact that the Keystone XL had been approved and TC Energy was moving forward with the project, period. Your statement that it was imprudent to make a decision based on this fact, is totally off-center and reeks of your lack of understanding. Also, comparing Keystone XL to the Bigstone 2 is ridiculous since these are two distinctly different projects, several decades apart.

      In addition, based on your statement that you have no information in regard to TC Energy and its work over several years to obtain land for this project. I know that TC Energy paid market value or more for much, if not all, of their land purchases/leases and that eminent domain may have only been used on one or two occasions at the very most in South Dakota. Bottom line,

      Lastly, it would be interesting to know whether you believe a pipeline is safer than by truck or by train. Also, I hope you and all of the other naysayers drive an electric car. Then at least you could stand on a bit of principle regarding your arguments.

      Overall, the Midland hotelier is but one example of many western South Dakota businesses who were gearing up for this amazing project. I for one am for energy independence and a continued partnership with our Canadian friends while enhancing our research and development efforts for alternative energy sources. Our new President, along with his arrogant and hypocritical “Climate Czar”, thinks we can do it cold turkey (switching over to alternative energy now), but these things take time. I’m not ready, nor can afford, $3-$4 a gallon gas and a doubling of my heating bill at home and I don’t think you are either.

      1. Black Hills Bob makes several good points. To the extent that we hope to minimize environmental costs per gallon-mile, pipelines are safer than transporting the equivalent volume via rail or via truck. I note, also, that executive orders increasing domestic petrochemical production costs benefit OPEC members (e.g. Iran, Venezuela, and Saudi Arabia). To paraphrase Milan Kundrea, we’ve become the brilliant ally of our gravediggers.

  2. Pay SD for the risk of the pipeline, cleanup fund, etc. Using eminent domain to forcefully purchase land from the local farmers isn’t right.

    1. How many farmers and ranchers did TC Energy use eminent domain in order to purchase their land?

  3. As a landowner I was told by my state and county officials that we had no choice, if we fought TC we would lose! We were told to make the best deal we could because this pipeline was going to happen! After watching Nebraska land owners stand up for their rights and be supported by their state government we felt the “wool” had been pulled over our eyes! Our state government was bought and paid for by TC. Thank you John Thune and Tim Johnson!
    Ask questions people!!! There are no jobs for South Dakotans to be created, there is no plan for cleanup of spills. No guarantee our roads will be restored if impacted by the hauling of equipment and pipe. Taxes from TC were minimal to say the least. Our local people also believed the pipeline was going to be a Godsend! Just because you want to believe in something doesn’t make it true! We are an agricultural and tourism state, why can’t we be proud of that and work towards that goal?
    The opportunities to process and market our own beef is unlimited! Quit beating the the dead horse pipe line and promote South Dakota agriculture!

  4. Well said Black Hills Bob. As far as the land owner. I think you full of Bull Crap. Everything is open to for fair neogotistions! Plus you get use of land back when line in place a covered over. You don’t lose that right of use! As soon as diesel goes back up you will be first in Whine line. These ELECTRIC VEHICLES will be part of Green Boondoggle coming! It takes massive amounts of Lithium. That takes 500000 gallon of clean water per ton! 45 vehicles! Cobalt. Mined with child labor in CONGO. Solar power? Takes 100 acre solar farm for 75,000 homes. Just homes. Can’t make panels with out crude oil. Can’t make windmills with out Crude oil. All a BOONDOGGLE DELUXE A COMING! Fiber carbon to replace steel? Not with out HEAVY CRUDE OIL! Fantsey land they live in

    1. Billy the kid, true! Who needs advanced energy boondoggles when we have plenty of whales swimming in the oceans just waiting to fuel our lanterns! Plus, think of the good American children we could employ to use their tiny hands to mine clean American coal. Classic big government and big science overreach.

  5. Why didn’t our elected leadership (present company excluded, of course) recommend vitamins and reclaim an obviously stolen election?

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