South Dakota Passes Pipeline Propaganda Bill, Gov. Noem Expected to Sign

Shortly before voting, a committee “rebranded” the bill using archaic marketing tactics, naming it the “Landowner Bill of Rights”.

The South Dakota Legislature has passed a controversial piece of legislation that some are calling nothing short of a dictionary definition of the world “propaganda”.

According to The Dakota Scout, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem will sign three hotly-contested measures related to carbon pipelines that are on their way to her desk.

Noem said Wednesday that Senate Bill 201, House Bill 1185 and House Bill 1186, dubbed the “landowner’s bill of rights” by supporters, are compromises enough to earn her signature.

The governor’s announcement came just minutes before the state House passed the most followed of the three, SB 201, on a 39-31 vote. She’ll see the package before the legislative session comes to a close Thursday.

“I stand with South Dakota landowners and always will,” The Republican governor told The Dakota Scout. “I am looking forward to signing a Landowner Bill of Rights that will provide new protections for landowners and allow for economic growth to move forward through a transparent process.”

The bills pave the way for Summit Carbon Solutions, an Iowa-based company seeking to construct roughly 500 miles of carbon capture pipeline through 18 counties in eastern South Dakota, to move ahead with their project.

The main issue with the language “Landowner Bill of Rights” and narrative it is setting up is that it opens a path for landowners to be considered activists of domestic terrorists to the state.

Currently there are landowners being denied insurance quotes and coverage due to the potential of a carbon pipeline being put in their property. In North of Dakota, landowners who are asking for more transparency and civility, are already being labeled “activists” by the state.

“For the last two month, I’ve been stationed in Pierre, South Dakota working at the their legislature, helping a group of conservatives whose number one mission this session is to defend the property rights of South Dakotans against the Green Agenda and the attached CO2 pipeline,” said North Dakota Watchdog Network’s Dustin Gawrylow.

Long time readers and watchers of North Dakota news know that the coalition to support property rights and oppose the use of eminent domain is a diverse one that includes farmers, land developers, conservatives and even environmentalists.

When asked if a landowners is opposed to the new South Dakota Landowner Bill of Rights for variety of reasons, would they technically be against the state? Gawryłow replied yes.

“The landowners are The Alamo in the situation,” Gawryłow said. “The state would more than likely label property owners as an activist or something along those lines.”

According to Gawrylow, South Dakota is in a unique position in defending private property rights in the CO2 pipeline fight. Iowa’s state laws regarding local ordinances likely give their Iowa Utilities Board ultimate control.

In North Dakota, their laws seems to split power between the counties and the Public Service Commission, but there will likely be a court fight over where those splits occur.

While more citizens in these states are finding out that lobbyists, political donations and country club economics are winning the favor of the elected officials; landowners are stuck defending their property rights against public private partnerships riddled with special interests, political agendas and shadow governments.

North Dakota is the terminus for all the ethanol carbon being transported across the Upper Midwest.

Furthermore, while the landowners were busy fighting the government with grassroots efforts, Summit Carbon Solutions continues moving full steam ahead, with the support of elected officials and appointed leaders, as if the states who are involved have already given the “green light” approval for the ethanol carbon project.

For example, this week, Summit announced they are incorporating eight of Valero’s ethanol facilities into its carbon capture and storage project. In addition, Summit Carbon Solutions plans to expand its carbon dioxide pipeline footprint in Iowa by about 50% , or about 340 miles, to connect to more ethanol plants, according to new regulatory filings.

In Iowa, Summit Carbon Solutions is awaiting approval from the Iowa Utilities Board for its initial proposal to lay its pipeline system. According to the Iowa Capital Dispatch, the plan includes about 690 miles of pipe in Iowa that would connect to a dozen ethanol plants to transport their captured carbon dioxide to North Dakota for underground storage.

The scope of the company’s project in Iowa has expanded considerably in recent weeks and is the result of another company, Navigator CO2, abandoning its plans for a similar system. Two large ethanol producers — POET and Valero — that had initially agreed to be part of Navigator’s project have since signed with Summit.

That has resulted in Summit more than doubling its number of ethanol plant partners in Iowa to a total of 30. There are 42 in the state.

Valero facilities in Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, and South Dakota will be incorporated into Summit’s project, which captures carbon emissions caused by the fermentation process of biorefineries.

Once carbon is captured, it will be “stored permanently” in geologic formations in North Dakota. Summit Carbon’s carbon capture and storage project includes partnerships with 57 ethanol plants.

“I am excited to welcome one of the premier energy companies in the world into our project, bringing in a new era where agricultural innovation and energy market expansion go hand in hand,” said Bruce Rastetter, founder and executive chairman of Summit Agricultural Group told Environmental Energy Leader. “By integrating Valero’s facilities into this project, we will make major strides in providing more than a billion gallons of low-carbon fuels to a marketplace hungry for the product. This project ensures the agriculture and biofuels industries will remain dynamic and competitive, meeting the needs of today while preparing for the opportunities of tomorrow.” Read more