There is a lot of misinformation circulated by some groups alleging no benefits or even negative impacts from this important project. The facts say otherwise.
1. TransCanada will be one of South Dakota’s largest taxpayers.
· For Keystone XL in West River, TransCanada will pay (an estimated net of) $34 million in sales, use and contractor taxes in South Dakota. Because of legislation passed last year to help balance the budget, this is an increase of 300% in the effective tax rate for this project, levied after the project was committed to the State of South Dakota.
· TransCanada will pay approximately $25 million per year in property taxes for its South Dakota facilities [Keystone XL, Keystone, and Northern Border]. This makes TransCanada one of the single largest taxpayers in the state.
2. TransCanada will also be one of the largest electric customers in the state of South Dakota, helping to ensure the vitality of many nonprofit consumer-owned rural electric cooperatives across the state.
3. Taxes that TransCanada will pay go to local communities, helping to support key local services like schools, fire and police service.
· For example, the two school districts in Miner County, home to Heartland customer Howard, where the first phase of Keystone is located each are estimated to receive more than $300,000 from TransCanada.
· In Harding County, TransCanada will pay more than half the total property taxes in the county.
4. Keystone XL is an $800 million stimulus package for South Dakota that will create more than 2500 construction jobs in the state – all with private funds.
· According to an independent study, TransCanada’s investment of more than $800 million in South Dakota for this project will generate gains in business activity in South Dakota of an estimated $470 million and decades of employment in the state.
· Yankton and Aberdeen (where Keystone construction crews were based in 2009) were two of only three larger communities in South Dakota to see increases in sales tax revenues in 2009.
5. Every barrel of oil from Canada is one less from Hugo Chavez in Venezuela or from the Middle East. This is a move toward independence from unfriendly, totalitarian regimes
· Canada is our largest trading partner and shares our values.
· Canada has the world’s second largest reserves of crude oil.
· The U.S. imports half the oil we use on a daily basis.
· It makes sense to build this strong link to the oil in Canada
TransCanada is committed to South Dakota. TransCanada selected Brookings for its regional office. In addition, TransCanada selected Heartland customer Arlington for the site of a new regional warehouse, combining smaller facilities that had been located in South Dakota and other states. Keystone has a field office in Yankton and Northern Border field offices co-located with natural gas compressor stations in Aberdeen, Clark and Heartland customer Estelline. Additional field offices will be located along the Keystone XL route.
· During construction in East River in 2008 and 2009, Keystone spent more than $45 million on goods and services in SD and employed more than 2500 workers.
· With Keystone, Keystone XL and Northern Border, TransCanada will have $1.5 billion in assets in the state
Keystone XL pipeline construction will directly employ more than 20,000 Americans – more than 2500 here in South Dakota to construct the pipeline in West River. TransCanada will become one of the largest property taxpayers in South Dakota, with this Keystone XL line paying more than $685.6 million during its operation (on a present discounted value basis) in property taxes to support local schools, counties and the local services they provide.
The Keystone XL Pipeline is good for South Dakota and good for America. It will increase national energy security by safely delivering North American crude oil to meet U.S. needs – very likely including crude oil produced right here in South Dakota – and will create significant jobs, economic activity, and tax revenues at the local, state and regional levels. This stimulus is urgently needed to help reverse a jobless recovery from the Great Recession.