For Immediate Release: January 5th, 2016

Press Contacts:
Paula Antonie,, 605.747.4225
Faith Spotted Eagle,, (605) 481-0416
Lewis Grassrope,
Joye Braun,
Aldo Seoane,, 605-319-8151
Cindy Meyers,, 402-709-2920
Gary Dorr,
Dallas Goldtooth,, 708-515-6158

Native and Non-Native Coalition Responds to South Dakota
Public Utilities Commission Decision to Approve KXL Permit Recertification

Pierre, SD – The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission has approved the recertification of TransCanada’s Keystone XL South Dakota pipeline construction permit. Last November, President Barack Obama rejected TransCanada’s KXL presidential cross-border permit application, however the Canadian corporation still needed to acquire state permits along its proposed route. TransCanada’s Tar Sands pipeline cannot be constructed without a cross-border permit, however the oil company has stated that it plans to keep the state permit in hopes a new U.S. President favorable to the pipeline will be elected.

NOTE: NO KXL DAKOTA is grassroots coalition of Native and non-Native landowners, community leaders, tribes and organizations who have organized against the Keystone XL pipeline in South Dakota.


Paula Antoine, Oyate Wahacanka Woecun/Rosebud Spirit Camp:
“Today a battle was lost after the war was won. The SD PUC’s approval of the kxl permit does not override the Presidential Permit rejection. The facts prove that the project is not in the best interest of any living creature on the planet. We will remain steadfast beside our friends, allies and relatives to ensure our future generations have clean water and our land is protected. Unci Maka is not going anywhere and neither our we, our children’s grandchildren are depending on us.”

Faith Spotted Eagle, Ihanktonwan Treaty Council:
“Today, PUC Commissioner Hanson gave patronizing comments about Native world views, a blatant example of active settler colonialism at work in the hearing rooms of the conqueror; loftily approving Transcanada’s request for a state permit through Dakota lands. Hanson revealed his conqueror mentality by saying finally, finally he understood that Natives have a differing a world view, which he doesn’t. Such comments are dangerous and very, very oppressive. His patronizing comments solidified continued active colonialism which means invasion of Native lands; destruction of sacred sites and lifeways; appropriation of land that is not theirs and ethnocide. He further insulted our allies by saying that emotions have no place in settler laws, which actually go against a decision of the President of the United States. This self-important commission utilized legal racism to support their narrow minded paradigm of the day, to support a dead pipeline based on a slim hope. Their short sighted decision also violates the lands of our non-Native neighbors and allies. This pipeline will never be built on our lands.”

Lewis Grassrope, Kul Wicasa Ospiye Community Leader:
“Today our hearts hurt because of this decision. When our lands are threatened, so are our people. This decision reflects the greed by corporations who wish to destroy our great mother earth. As Lakota we are still here and we will stand till the end to save our generations to come. Through the unity of Indigenous People we will continue to stand on the front lines to defend our way of life and the future generations to come!”

Joye Braun, Lakota Community Organizer, Cheyenne River Lakota Oyate:
“We will stay vigilant. We will not be worn down. We will be ready for any obstacle put in our path to stop this foreign company from taking our land, threatening our water, and harming our people. Our horses are ready!”

Aldo Seoane, Wica Agli co-founder:
“We are outraged that the PUC would ignore their own conditions and the president’s rejection of Keystone xl . This is perfect example of a current system that looks to protect big oil and special interest groups rather than the interested of the people. Thanks Commissioners, for showing who you are really looking out for.”

Cindy Meyers, R.N., Official Intervenor in KXL Docket:
“The PUC has ignored my concerns for the health and safety of South Dakotans and listened instead to TransCanada’s mega-funded corporate rhetoric. Several SD public water systems depend on the Missouri River, and the intakes are downstream of major waterways and watersheds crossed by KXL. TransCanada’s legal team convinced the PUC to strike half of my exhibits detailing the toxic risks to SD drinking water supplies. I recently acquired this study, but I’m sure the TransCanada lawyers would have easily found a legal maneuver to get this great piece of evidence dismissed also. I followed the PUCs rules and guidance religiously, but the process seemed swayed for TransCanada, not a concerned citizen.

Gary Dorr, Official Intervenor in KXL Docket:
“The people have a right to due process and that entails looking at the current legal standing of compliance, instead the PUC continually shielded TransCanada from scrutiny from Interveners. The only hope is that today, Chairman Nelson stated that the South Dakota Permit is “conditional” which I take to mean unless they get a Presidential permit, this permit is useless to TransCanada.”

Dallas Goldtooth, Dakota, KXL Organizer for Indigenous Environmental Network:
“I am saddened by the PUC’s decision today, but not discouraged. We have proven that this pipeline is not in the interests of American people, that it threatens the sanctity of our waters and land, and that it will greatly contribute to climate change. We as land defenders and water protectors stand resolute in this struggle to protect Mother Earth and have proven grassroots people are effective in fighting corporations. We got the President of the United States to reject this pipeline and we will continue to ensure that this project will not get built.”

Jane Kleeb, Bold Nebraska:
“In a blatant handout to Big Oil rather than serving the people of South Dakota, the PUC approved an already rejected pipeline. Citizens now understand the PUC is not accountable to the public.”