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Mon Aug 19, 2019, 12:01 AM

Anti-pipeline activists, county commissioner differ on whether $49,000 payment was a bribe

LINCOLN — The leading group opposing the Keystone XL pipeline says that pipeline developer TC Energy has offered what the group calls a $49,000 bribe to a Holt County Board member for his cooperation in getting the controversial project built.

The board member, William Tielke of Atkinson, said the money, which he disclosed in a state conflict of interest filing in July, was “not a bribe to me.”

And a spokeswoman for TC Energy, formerly TransCanada, said that similar payments have been offered or are in the process of being offered to all landowners, like Tielke, who have signed right-of-way agreements for the Keystone XL pipeline in Nebraska, South Dakota and Montana.

“The construction completion bonus is neither unique to Mr. Tielke nor is it unusual,” said spokeswoman Robynn Tysver, who added that 90% of landowners in Montana and South Dakota and 75% of landowners in Nebraska have already signed it.

Read more: https://www.omaha.com/news/politics/anti-pipeline-activists-county-commissioner-differ-on-whether-payment-was/article_54e6ae0e-33bf-5670-a4f2-587cd1c2b557.html

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