PUC Keystone XL Delay Good for Darn Near Everybody in South Dakota

Across South Dakota, manly hearts beat faster upon hearing Chris Nelson say he’s “anxious… to wrestle“:

[Public Utilities Commission] Chairman Chris Nelson warned parties that they’ll have to be ready for the hearing later this summer.

“I was so mentally ready to do this next week,” Nelson said. “I’m anxious to get at this. I’m anxious to hear the arguments of both sides and to wrestle with that and make the proper decision, and so from a personal perspective, I wish this wasn’t happening, but I think in the interests of justice and due process, I’m going to need to support the motion” [Victoria Wicks, “Keystone XL Pipeline Hearings Delayed; New Date TBA,” SDPB Radio, 2015.04.27]

Commissioner Nelson was referring, of course, to the PUC’s decision to delay its hearings on Keystone XL until later this summer to allow pipeline opponents time to review the massive pile of documents dumped on them by TransCanada.

Remember that every day we can delay Keystone XL is a good day for South Dakota. Every day TransCanada must wait is another day that West River landowners don’t have foreign-paid tractors tearing up their land. It’s another day ranchers and water drinkers from Buffalo to Murdo to Colome don’t have an ecological disaster burbling in their backyards. It’s another day TransCanada doesn’t get to raise gasoline prices in South Dakota by sending its product out to the global market.

Public Utilities Commissioner ready to go Hulkamaniac with the Big Black Snake
Public Utilities Commissioner ready to go Hulkamaniac on the Big Black Snake

And it’s another day that imminent Presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders can press Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton to clarify where she stands on surrendering South Dakota land rights (not to mention sustainable energy policy) to a private foreign corporation.

The only downside to this delay is that we have to wait a few more months to watch Chris Nelson wrestle. But even there, every day we must wait is another day Commissioner Nelson could grow back his mustache and extend it to Hulk Hogan proportions for some serious Wrestlemania. Ah, sweet anticipation…

7 Responses to PUC Keystone XL Delay Good for Darn Near Everybody in South Dakota

  1. Paul Seamans

    Many people seem to feel that the three PUC commissioners already have their mind made up in favor of TransCanada. This almost three month continuance shows that they are trying to be fair, they didn’t have to do that.

  2. Nick Nemec

    They’re trying to appear fair but I’m afraid the deck is stacked against the opponents.

  3. I agree, Nick, that the opponents face an uphill battle, but this delay seems pretty substantial. I lean toward Paul’s read that this delay is a genuine nod toward fairness. But I will also accept the PUC’s warning to all parties that, after being granted this favor, barring new information or surprises, everyone had better be ready to rumble on the new hearing date.

  4. I don’t see Chris Nelson as a Hulk Hogan type of character. He’s more Iron Sheik.


  5. Deb Geelsdottir

    Seriously? Is that his Real Mustache? Does he go out in public like that? My first thought on seeing that photo was a graffiti artist had been at it. You’re not being silly with a photo shopped picture? C’mon. That’s just too funny!

  6. Deb, I have yet to see Chris Nelson let his mustache reach Hulk Hogan proportions. He shaved it off for his run for Congress in 2010. I maintain that re-mustaching would boost his political stock five points.

  7. larry kurtz

    John Hult: “South Dakota’s PUC has voted to re-set the hearing on the Keystone XL pipeline’s construction permit for July 27-Aug. 4.”