You remember the Keystone Pipeline. President Trump signed an Executive Order on January 24, 2017 reviving the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipeline projects. Former President Barak Obama rejected the Keystone 1,179-mile pipeline in 2015.
When he signed the Order, Mr. Trump recited that the pipeline would bring 28,000 construction jobs. But according to the New York Times, “studies showed that the pipeline would not have a momentous impact on jobs.” New York Times, January 24, 2017. The President also indicated that he would renegotiate the terms with the pipelines.
The President also seemed to limit approval on the use by pipeline construction companies on pipe manufactured in America.
There is little surprise here folks. President Trump is on record as believing “eminent domain is wonderful.” During an interview with Fox News on October 7, 2015, Mr. Trump explained that most conservatives don’t understand the issue as well as he does, “I fully understand the conservative approach, but I don’t think it was explained to most conservatives.” Trump insisted that the compensated, involuntary transfer of private property by the government was in the public’s best interest. “Eminent domain is wonderful.” Of course, as a developer, our President has used or attempted to have property taken for his private development projects on numerous occasions and in several states.
Well, it turns out that the Keystone Pipeline has leaked an unknown amount of oil across North Dakota. TC Energy shut down the pipeline as a result of the leak.
The line was shut down after detecting a drop in pressure. It’s unclear when the leak began and for how long it has been leaking. The Yankton Sioux tribe objects to a plan to allow Keystone XL to divert water from three rivers in South Dakota.
The leak provides abundant evidence of a reasonable basis for objecting to proposed takings for pipelines. It also establishes the need for severance damages because of the public perception of future damages and health risks.