Friday, February 26, 2010

South Dakota weighing oil pipeline cleanup tax

PIERRE - An old idea of levying an environmental cleanup tax on oil pipelines in South Dakota took on new life on Feb. 22 in the Legislature.
The Senate State Affairs Committee voted 7-1 in favor of charging two cents per barrel on pipelines carrying more than 10,000 b/d.
The legislation now heads to the full Senate for consideration.
“I think it’s our responsibility to protect the state of South Dakota,” said Sen. Gene Abdallah, R-Sioux Falls.
The legislation, SB 161, is opposed by TransCanada officials, who have completed their international pipeline known as Keystone down the James River Valley through South Dakota.
TransCanada plans to build a second one, known as Keystone XL, across western South Dakota.
Sen. Ryan Maher, D-Isabel, said he brought the latest legislation on behalf of some constituents who will be affected by the proposed XL pipeline through their areas.
Luke Temple, a lobbyist for Dakota Rural Action, said the purpose is to protect landowners and to protect South Dakota taxpayers in general.
The money would be placed in a special fund that would be capped at $30 million and would be available in case of an oil release.

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