PIERRE — The South Dakota Senate won’t get a chance to debate the merits of a concurrent resolution calling for the protection of Missouri River water from the Dakota Access Pipeline. The measure, SCR10, was defeated Wednesday in the Senate State Affairs Committee meeting.
Concurrent resolutions don’t have the weight of law but rather express the Legislature’s concern about a problem or its endorsement of a national policy. The Dakota Access Pipeline has been the subject of protests, especially the plan to run the pipeline under the Missouri River.
“It’s important that we protect our environment at all costs,” said Sen. Kevin Killer, D-Pine Ridge, who sponsored the resolution. “Anything manmade breaks.”
Speaking for the resolution, Sen. Troy Heinert, D-Mission, said communities in southwest South Dakota were dependent on the Mni Wiconi water system. If the pipeline goes under the river and there’s a break, Heinert said tribal leaders will shut off the water.
“They own the water line that feeds those communities,” Heinert said.
Heinert said he has nothing against pipelines, but he is concerned about the Dakota Access Pipeline’s proximity to the Missouri River.
“My concern is that oil is going to get to our water intakes before we can stop it,” Heinert said.
Sen. Kris Langer, R-Dell Rapids, moved to designate the legislation for the 41st day of the session, effectively killing the resolution. She said America is better off if it’s not dependent on foreign oil.
Sen. Bob Ewing, R-Spearfish, said he was confident in the technology used in pipelines and preferred that method of transport over trucks or trains.
“I think it’s way safer to transfer this oil in a pipeline,” Ewing said.
The resolution was sent to the 41st day on a 6-3 vote.
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