BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — This year’s legislative session has many bills pertaining to Summit Carbons Solutions’ project proposal.
Since the summer of 2022, reporter Adrienne Oglesby has been reporting on landowners who both support and oppose the Summit Carbons Solutions Pipeline Project.
To refresh your memory, the project plans to capture CO2 from 32 ethanol plants across five states putting aggregated CO2 into a newly constructed pipeline system and deliver it to western North Dakota for injection and permanent storage.
But for many North Dakotans, this is a plan they are not so fond of.
“The industry in North Dakota is tying themselves to a very, very, very dangerous concept,” said bill supporter, Gaylen Dewing.
“We don’t want to sell and we shouldn’t be forced to sell,” said bill supporter, Susan Doppler.
“The continued threats of eminent domain continued for well over a year and a half,” explained farmer, Todd McMichael. “I’ve heard some testimonies that they never heard of anything about eminent domain. They should’ve been in Casselton, they should’ve been in Morton, North Dakota for our informational meetings because that’s where it started.”
“I don’t think that they should be able to take it privately, and against our wishes for their private gain and to add on again it’s not for the public good,” said bill supporter, John H. Warford Jr.
Another question brought to the surface is this — who decides what the pipeline is good for, and what gain is there for not only the community of North Dakota but landowners specifically?
Both of the bills up for discussion relate to eminent domain, which is a fear for landowners.
In summary, bill 2209 would take 85% of landowners’ signatures for the project, and then allow 15% to be made up and signed by the county to fill the gap. Bill 2212 would remove the use of eminent domain in full.
The biggest argument for those opposed to the bill is that this is great for a state, high in ag and energy, and that there have been proven projects to work before.
“We’re coming back to support a brand new industry that can change the face of North Dakota,” said Director of Governmental Affairs and New Business Development, Pamela Trhlik.
“This will bring additional jobs and economic benefits to the state and the region,” said landowner, Keith Kessler.
“Its traditional energy and modern agriculture industries that represent 70% of North Dakota’s economy. If we take action and develop and deploy solutions like carbon capture transportation storage, we can preserve our industries in spare neW investments and thrive in low carb and economy but we have to act,” said Executive Director-Summit Carbons, Wade Bohesahs.
Executive director of the project says that CO2 pipelines do in fact have access to eminent domain but regardless of testimonies saying otherwise, he says no one has been threatened with them for this specific project.
The smaller projects in the Williston Basin and in Richardton were also noted as “proof” that the pipeline is possible.
District 8 Senator, Jeff Magrum, introducer of both bills, says though many did turn out which was not a surprise, he was taken back by the fact that no one from the east side of the Missouri River opposed any of the related bills.
“We’ll gather next week at our energy and natural resource committee,” said Senator Magrum. “I think we have some hearings this week, so we’ll debate it out at committee and see what the rest of the committee members are thinking. We’ll look at more amendments and see what happens. We’ve taken a lot of good testimonies, and we still need to digest, so to speak, because there’s other documents I have not had time to look at. I’m looking forward to learning more of what people are thinking.”
Senator Magrum says getting locals to the Capitol, what he calls the ‘people’s house’, is what puts weight on these bills and shows what really matters to the people.
This is an ongoing story.
To view our previous coverage on the Summit Carbon Solutions pipeline project, visit https://www.kxnet.com/news/concerns-rise-about-summit-carbon-solutions-project-in-north-dakota/ .