PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – A South Dakota legislative panel has endorsed Gov. Kristi Noem’s bills to prepare for potential protests over the Keystone XL oil pipeline despite opposition from tribal representatives.

The Republican governor’s bills would require pipeline companies to chip in on protest-related expenses and create a way to pursue the money of those who fund destructive demonstrations.

The Joint Committee on Appropriations voted Wednesday to send the bills to the Senate floor.

Crow Creek Sioux Tribe Chairman Lester Thompson says voices shouldn’t be silenced about environmental concerns that affect resources people depend on to live.

Noem’s bills come after opponents of the Dakota Access oil pipeline staged large protests that resulted in hundreds of arrests in North Dakota.

AP-WF-03-07-19

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