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LETTERS: Pipeline issues continue

Pipeline issues continue

To the editor:

I recently reread the March 31 commentary by former State Representative Don Dahl where he ardently defended the 2006 SB303 bill, which provided a 10-year property tax exemption for the Keystone TransCanada pipeline. Since March, there have been several opportunities for Dahl to defend his vote and respond to criticisms of the exemption.

There was the “open letter” from the Marion County Commission that has been distributed widely and published in the press that gave an excellent chronology of the events that went unchallenged by Dahl. The commentary in March stated Dahl and his cronies in the legislature didn’t know whether the pipeline would come thru Kansas in 2006, but in a 2004 annual report to the stockholders, TransCanada has a map showing the pipeline route as was followed this summer.

Mr. Dahl stated in a letter March 3, that the intent of the exemption was to secure a supply of crude oil for Kansas refineries, particularly refineries in McPherson and Coffeyville. It is now known that both refineries have filed lawsuits in Calgary, Alberta, Canada courts alleging that “Keystone’s representatives and the TSA Terms were false, untrue, inaccurate and misleading.” The lawsuit stated damages and costs arising from these misrepresentations could cause major financial injury to these Kansas refineries. This does not sound like the scenario that Dahl was bragging about.

The issue seems to boil down to three possible reasons that the members of the legislative leadership would have crafted and introduced a property tax exemption worth millions of dollars to a large, foreign, oil pipeline company:

  • They were gullible and duped by some slick-talking Canadians.
  • They were corrupted by campaign contributions and outright bribes.
  • They were ignorant and ill-informed.

My guess is that it is a combination of all three.

Harry E. Bennett
Marion

Last modified Nov. 18, 2010

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