Keystone XL Faces Strong Opposition in PUC Hearing

At a marathon hearing that began on July 29 in Pierre, South Dakota, the state Public Utilities Commission (PUC) was tasked to decide if it should recertify the company’s permit to build the Keystone XL pipeline. However, TransCanada faced strong opposition to their Keystone XL plans. Members of the grassroots group Dakota Rural Action, Native American tribes, and individual landowners made their case that TransCanada is not qualified for the job.

Challenges included questions on the credibility of TransCanada's "expert" witnesses, and new TransCanada internal documents showing the company is aware of shoddy construction issues and corrosion problems.

In one striking example of the turmoil the company faced, TransCanada attorneys requested the Commission strike from the record the entire testimony of one of the company’s key witnesses, David Diakow, TransCanada’s Vice President, Commercial, Liquids Pipelines. Apparently fearing cross-examination, they sought to withdraw him as a witness.

You can read more about the hearing here, and find a copy of one of the internal documents revealed in the hearing; "Study of Root Cause and Contributing Factors Keystone Pipeline". The report confirms that the pipeline suffered at least six defects, including one spot where the pipeline had corroded 96.8 percent through the wall.



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