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Senate Candidates On Keystone Oil Pipeline

May 30, 2014, 6:00 PM by Don Jorgensen

Senate Candidates On Keystone Oil Pipeline

KELOLAND News concludes its special reports on the Republican U.S. Senate candidates and how they feel about certain issues.  We've heard from all five about their top priorities and how to fix the gridlock in Washington. Now we wanted to know how they feel about the Keystone XL Oil Pipeline and whether they support it being built through South Dakota.

The Keystone Pipeline is an oil pipeline that's under construction that will run from Canada all the way through South Dakota to the Gulf of Mexico. 

Now there's talk of building a second pipeline that would also run through our state.

Jason Ravnsborg supports the pipeline and believes South Dakota needs to tap into the resources that are available.

"We have 250 years of coal.  We have at least 400 years of oil that we can use from our resources versus buying it from Saudi Arabia or places like Nigeria that are in chaos right now," Ravnsborg said.

Former governor Mike Rounds agrees.

"In order to have our national security, in order to be a play on the international activities going on right now, we have to be able to produce more energy from all different resources," Rounds said.

State Senator Larry Rhoden blames President Obama siding with environmentalists who would like to stop the pipeline from being built.

"That would create 4,000 jobs.  Beyond that in South Dakota, it would create millions of dollar in tax revenues every year, millions of dollars for the school districts that it would pass through, but the project in general would lower taxes statewide in South Dakota," Rhoden said.

State Representative Stace Nelson was not a big fan of the first pipeline because of how it cuts through South Dakota.

"Subsequent efforts to put more pipelines in across people's land, I've got problems with that.  I don't believe in using eminent domain to take away people's private property rights," Nelson said.

Annette Bosworth also blames Obama for trying to stall the project. 

"Here's what matter to me when it comes to Keystone Pipeline and the people I talk to: is it going to lower the price at the pump? And I think when we stop talking about that and get caught up in, are the environmentalist happy? Are the business people happy? Start with, 'Is it going to lower the price at the pump?' and keep that the focus of our conversation because that's what matters to me," Bosworth said.

Back in April, the Obama administration announced that the review of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline has been extended indefinitely, until at least after the mid-term elections. 

Now that we've heard from the candidates on a few issues, here's a friendly reminder, the primary is next Tuesday, June 3.  The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.  Be sure to stay tuned to KELOLAND News and KELOLAND.com for election results.

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