PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The proposed Keystone XL pipeline is no more in South Dakota.
The state Public Utilities Commission voted 3-0 Tuesday to release the road bond, stop filing reports and end use of a public liaison for the project through western South Dakota.
“I always thought I’d be here telling you the oil is flowing,” attorney Bill Taylor of Sioux Falls said.
Commissioner Gary Hanson focused his questions on the conditions of roads and said the commission had received “a boatload” of contacts from landowners about easements.
Commission analyst Darren Kearney said staff members had no concern about releasing the road bond and were comfortable in terminating the reporting requirement. Kearney praised the 12 years of work by the public liaison.
Commission chair Chris Nelson said the regulators don’t have authority regarding easements between the project and landowners.
Taylor said TC Energy spent “tens of millions” upgrading county and township roads. Each county agreed to end their local haul agreements, he said.
The company then known as TransCanada Energy applied in 2009 for the project and received its South Dakota permit in 2010. The project was on, then off, then on again, and then off again, when U.S. President Joe Biden took office.
TC Energy announced last June it was terminating the project
“Gentlemen, the end of a very, very long saga,” Nelson told Taylor and fellow attorney James Moore of Sioux Falls.
“I leave here today very disappointed,” Taylor replied.
“I understand,” Nelson said.
Climate activist John Schmidt of Woonsocket went to the microphone for the public-comment period at the end of the meeting. “Today I think we witnessed the death of a monster with a whimper,” he said.