Noem calls for more local coverage of Keystone XL pipeline

Gov. Kristi Noem (R, S.D.) discusses media coverage of the Keystone XL pipeline during a press...
Gov. Kristi Noem (R, S.D.) discusses media coverage of the Keystone XL pipeline during a press conference Feb. 4 in Pierre.(Dakota News Now)
Published: Feb. 4, 2021 at 5:09 PM CST
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PIERRE, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Gov. Kristi Noem called on South Dakota media outlets to provide more extensive coverage of the fallout from President Joe Biden’s decision to revoke the Keystone XL pipeline permit, a project she and many other Republican lawmakers have long supported.

In a press briefing Thursday morning, Noem handed out copies of an article from the conservative news organization Washington Examiner focusing on the hardships facing a hotel owner in Midland, S.D. in the wake of Biden’s decision.

Noem pointed out that the article was published in a Washington, D.C.-based outlet, and asked why no South Dakota reporters covered the impacts of the loss of the pipeline. She also implied it would have been covered different had former President Donald Trump made a similar action.

While Noem was unable to provide an estimate on economic impact, she did say it would have a “ripple effect” on individuals, families, and local governments when it comes to tax revenue.

Dakota News Now has reported on the recent developments regarding the Keystone XL project, including reaction from South Dakota lawmakers. The day the executive order came down, one of our crews traveled to a pipeline construction site near Presho, but was not allowed on the premises. No one associated with the pipeline has yet agreed to an on-camera interview with Dakota News Now.

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A Keystone XL pipeline construction site near Presho, S.D. hours after Pres. Joe Biden revoked...
A Keystone XL pipeline construction site near Presho, S.D. hours after Pres. Joe Biden revoked the pipeline's permit. A Dakota News Now crew was not allowed on the premises.(Dakota News Now)

Laurie Cox, the owner of the Stroppel Inn - the hotel featured in the article - tells Dakota News Now she has not spoken to Noem herself, and was unaware the governor would be discussing the article Thursday. In an interview with the Forum News Service, she said she and her husband were unaware the pipeline ran near Midland when they purchased the hotel last September.

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The 1,700-mile pipeline was planned to carry roughly 800,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta to the Texas Gulf Coast, passing through Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma.

Pipeline supporters say the decision to pull the permit cost thousands of jobs, though the exact extent of potential jobs impacted is unclear. TC Energy Corp., the Canadian company building the pipeline, previously said more than 1,000 people lost their jobs because of Biden’s order. The company estimated it could have created around 11,000 jobs. Most of those would have been temporary.

The project still has many advocates fighting to save it. Rep. Dusty Johnson is one of dozens of congressmen supporting a bill that would authorize the construction of the pipeline and declare that a presidential permit is not required.

Among the supporters of the pipeline is the owner of the Washington Examiner - Philip Anschutz - a billionaire who made a bulk of his fortune in the oil industry.

Opponents of the pipeline, including many Native American tribes, expressed concerned over environmental risks. Biden has made fighting climate change a priority in the early days of his administration, including moving away from fossil fuels.

MORE: Watch Noem’s full press conference here.

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