AP NEWS

Tribes: Oil companies should pay for pipeline spills

December 19, 2019 GMT

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota lawmakers are proposing legislation that would require oil companies to pay for cleaning up any pipeline spills or leaks as plans are being made to construct the Keystone XL pipeline in the state.

The State-Tribal Relations Committee on Wednesday agreed to sponsor the bill in the 2020 legislative session at the request of South Dakota Native American tribes.

Crow Creek Tribal Chairman Lester Thompson Jr. said the bill would hold pipeline companies accountable.

“As a citizen of South Dakota, I really hate to see our local farmers, ranchers, tribal members, just the common citizen who doesn’t make that big dollar like that company does, be hung with a bill for clean up that isn’t their fault,” Thompson said.

The bill would require companies to contribute to a state fund based on the pipeline’s length with a cap of $100 million, the Argus Leader reported.

Opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline point to a recent spill in northeastern North Dakota in raising concerns about management of the pipeline.

Crude began flowing through the $5.2 billion pipeline in 2011. It’s designed to carry crude oil across Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Canada and through North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri on the way to refineries in Patoka, Illinois and Cushing, Oklahoma.