BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — At the Capitol on Tuesday, many people gathered with signs in protest over the CO2 Pipeline Project, as Senator Jeff Magrum held a meeting in Memorial Hall and announced he has delivered a letter to Attorney General Drew Wrigley concerning the controversial Summit Carbon Solutions pipeline.
Senator Magrum stated in the letter that Summit Carbon Solutions has only revealed five investors of the CO2 project.
“One of the investors Summit has disclosed is TPG Rise,” said Sen. Magrum. “TPG Rise, according to various articles, is a major investor known as the China Silk Road Fund. The China Silk Road Fund is directly owned by the Chinese Government.”
This raises concerns because of House Bill 1135, which, as Magrum states, “prevents foreign land and land ownership in North Dakota except for Canada.”
According to Senator Magrum, since this seems like a violation of the house bill — and he and other legislators want Attorney General Drew Wrigley to investigate.
“This is scandal number whatever for our government,” said Representative Lori VanWinkle. We are here to protect our constitutional rights.”
At the meeting, questions were raised on the consequences of pushing against Summit Carbon solutions — particularly, the question of this controversial deal could cause other businesses to stay away from North Dakota in the future.
“I don’t think there is going to be a large loss in business in North Dakota,” argued Representative Brandon Prichard, “especially if they do things right — unlike what the CO2 pipeline has done, where they have come onto people’s lands and forced people to give up their lands through eminent domain authority.”
One woman who attended Tuesday’s meeting has a farm, and the proposed location for the CO2 pipeline would be near her farmland.
“We have a farm North of Bismarck,” explained Susan Doppler. “It’s been in our family for generations. My nephew and his wife still live on the farm homestead, and we are very concerned because the pipeline is only going to be a short distance from where the farm is.”
She says she’s frustrated with Summit Carbon Solutions and the company’s refusal to answer the public’s questions — both of which make her unable to feel comfortable supporting to project.
“I’m angry,” she expressed, “because it appears to us that it is about the money. It’s not about the people. It’s about the money.”
The North Dakota Public Service Commission will be holding a public hearing on Friday, June 2, in Bismarck regarding the proposed CO2 project.