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Charlie Hoffman Likes CO2 Pipelines; McPherson County Doesn’t; HB 1120 May At Least Tax Those Projects

Representative Charlie Hoffman (R-23/Eureka) says the big carbon dioxide pipeline Iowa-based Summit Carbon Solutions wants to run across East River is vital to ethanol and the future of farming:

When considering the future of agriculture and what is needed to ensure our industry thrives for generations to come, I am thrilled to see such innovation here at home. I am also confident in Summit Carbon Solutions, a Midwest-based company, to carry out the successful installation and operation of this ever-important project. Facts do matter as I have personally witnessed untruths being spread by certain groups on the scientific scope of this operation. I ask only that both sides are fairly represented. Hence, this opinion piece.

Summit Carbon Solutions has deep roots in agriculture. Its leaders understand the needs of farmers and are committed to building meaningful partnerships in their mission to serve our industry.

I encourage all corn growers, local leaders and South Dakotans to join me in supporting Summit Carbon Solutions’ efforts to bolster ethanol and create a secure future for farming [Charlie Hoffman, “The Key to Ethanol’s Success in South Dakota Is Carbon Capture,” Aberdeen American News via Yahoo News, 2022.01.14].

Of course, that’s easy for Charlie to say: the rich Iowa Republicans (and some Democrats) backing this plan evidently redrew their pipeline route to keep the project off the Republican lawmaker’s land, so Charlie has little to lose and much to gain by elocuting for his party chair’s pals.

Charlie’s neighbors aren’t quite as welcoming of this pipeline. The McPherson County Commission is banning pipeline projects, in response to pretty substantial local opposition:

Sid Feickert, a county commissioner, said the county’s planning and zoning board and county commission board in January both approved a moratorium on pipelines carrying hazardous material. While Feickert said that would include oil and other materials, the moratorium was passed as a developer plans to build a carbon dioxide pipeline in the county.

…“There is zero support locally that we can see,” Feickert said of the Summit proposed pipeline. The county established the moratorium after about 50 people in opposition turned up at a January county board meeting.

“The phone has been ringing off the hook (with opposition to the pipeline),” Feickert said. “It’s a really hot topic.”

The county board passed the moratorium as way to “slow up the pipeline,” Feickert said [Rae Yost, “McPherson Says Temporary No to CO2 Pipelines,” KELO-TV, 2022.02.01].

But at least Charlie has his name on House Bill 1120, a measure introduced by Representative Kirk Chaffee (R-29/Whitewood, a fair distance away from the Midwest Carbon Express). HB 1120 would add carbon dioxide pipelines to the list of pipelines that South Dakota can tax. This small addition would require Summit Carbon Solutions and anyone else piping CO2 across South Dakota to submit annual reports on the value of their property in the state, their gross earnings, operating expenses, and net earnings. Those pipeliners would then be subjected to a tax on the “true and actual value” of their pipeline property in each taxing district of the state, as guesstimated by the Department of Revenue.

Both Summit Carbon Solutions and Dakota Rural Action testified to House Taxation this morning in favor of HB 1120. No one rose to oppose taxing carbon pipelines. Representative Peri Pourier voted against the bill without comment, but HB 1120 passed with 11 ayes. Those affirmative votes included Chairman Drew Dennert (R-3/Aberdeen) and Vice-Chairman Tom Pischke (R-25/Dell Rapids), both Republicans voting to subject more Republicans to more taxes. (Somebody better check Tom’s temperature—he’s sure voting for a lot of socialism.)

But so far, there are no bills proposing to back McPherson County’s resistance to the Summit Carbon Solutions project or to restrict the use of eminent domain for such private enterprises.

Related Regulatory Reading: Summit Carbon Solutions applied today to the Iowa Utilities Board for a permit for the Midwest Carbon Express.

Side Note: on Science and Public Discourse: Some landowners along the pipeline route are freaking out over the possibility that the pipeline could leak carbon dioxide and make people foam at the mouth and act like zombies. Representative Hoffman tells KEO-TV that (reporter’s words) “describing CO2 as a deathly gas is fear-mongering.”

I hope Charlie’s anti-mask agitators will take note of Charlie’s admonition.


  1. larry kurtz 2022-02-01 18:06

    In 2018 while taking a shot at Senator John Thune (NAZI-SD) at Betty Olson’s Faceberg page South Dakota earth hater, Hoffman implied Thune has been in DC for far too long. Once a principled conservative he and Thune both now favor government determining winners and losers. He sits on the board of the South Dakota Ag Land Trust and conspires with Republican organizations like the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association and South Dakota Farm Bureau who make sure the Prairie Pothole Region is one big eutrophic sh!t hole and nearly every waterway in the northern Plains states is impaired.

    Republican welfare farmers are the real ecoterrorists who hate subsidies unless they benefit from them. How dredging a 700 mile long pipeline doesn’t release more carbon than it intends to sequester remains a mystery.

  2. mike from iowa 2022-02-01 18:10

    Unlike covid vaccines, I am willing to bet the state of South Duhkota will willingly force this pipeline on the public. No pipeline and no one dies. No covid vaccines and thousands die. Magats are worthless as mammary glands on boars.

  3. Porter Lansing 2022-02-01 19:48

    Short sighted Conservatives investing their money on the wrong side of history and against electric Ford F-150 Lightnings?

    It’s foolish to take shovels from the hands of opponents digging their own graves.

    In short, which will embrace history?

    Electric vehicles (using no gasoline) or ethanol?

  4. Mark Anderson 2022-02-01 22:19

    My wife’s family home and land she owns is just south of Long Lake. It looks like the pipeline is just east of that. Couldn’t find a detailed map. Anybody have the McPherson route?

  5. jerry 2022-02-01 23:56

    Charlie Hoffman got this from NOem. In Hoffman’s own words he describes what he and the rest of the career legislators do in Pierre, they meet regularly with the governor’s office to get their marching orders. It would seem that the only real decision that Charlie ever makes is to keep his career in Pierre cycle after cycle of doing nothing but carrying the water for the governor.

  6. Nick Nemec 2022-02-02 06:40

    Mark Anderson, I have yet to see pipeline maps with any detail sufficient to identify individual parcels of property to be crossed. I have visited the Hyde County zoning administrator and she hasn’t seen usable maps either. The Onida to Redfield branch of the pipeline crosses north Hyde County and with knowledge of the area and a plat map it is possible to surmise some of the landowners who will be crossed. I’ve talked to some and the reaction varies from against, to “show me the money”. Pipeline leaks are especially a concern.

    The Hyde County Board of Commissioners has placed consideration of a moratorium on the agenda for the March 1 board meeting. At the very least they want time to draft and adopt amendments to the county zoning ordinance that will address pipelines.

  7. Nick Nemec 2022-02-02 06:58

    How does the proposed pipeline make money to pay for itself and provide a return to investment to the owners/investors? Do they charge the ethanol plants for the disposal of the CO2 they produce? Do they sell CO2 to the Baken oil producers to be used as a gas for fracking shale formations in order to release more oil? Do ethanol plants give the CO2 to the pipeline company just to get rid of it? I assume the CO2 is currently released into the atmosphere, are regulations coming down the pike that will require capture and disposal of CO2?

  8. Francis Schaffer 2022-02-02 07:27

    Thank you for making the point that CO2 is deadly in a high concentration, I thought Mr. Hoffman was being short sighted or intentionally deceptive. Also, you mentioned cost/revenue for disposal; which brings to mind – was this ‘cost’ factored into determining whether ethanol is a truly renewable energy?

  9. jkl 2022-02-02 09:18

    The motivation for this pipeline is summed up here:
    “Summit Carbon Solutions has deep roots in agriculture. Its leaders understand the needs of farmers and are committed to building meaningful partnerships in their mission to serve our industry.”
    No comment about addressing any needs of the environment.

    The welfare state of ethanol continues. The welfare state of the American farmer continues. If ethanol is a viable, capitalistic energy source then at some point it needs to get rid of government subsidies.

  10. Nick Nemec 2022-02-02 10:03

    jkl, typical corporate speak, no explanation of how this pipeline will serve the needs of farmers, just a claim that it will.

  11. mike from iowa 2022-02-02 10:16

    You delve too deep, it becomes a matter of industry secrets to stop the prying.

  12. larry kurtz 2022-02-02 10:40

    Driving small producers off the land has been in the works for decades.

    Koch Industries’ relationship with the late Republican Kansas Senator Bob Dole not only helped to delegitimize the issue of oil theft it allowed the company to build an ecoterrorism empire. Charles Koch was a member of the John Birch Society and Koch Industries has given loads of cash to Mike Rounds, Howdy Doody Dusty Johnson and John Thune.

    Today Koch is one of four corporations that control the production and sale of nitrogen-based fertilizer in the US. The others are Yara-USA, CF Industries and Nutrien so the Family Farm Action Alliance, a 501c3 non-profit group has asked the Department of Justice to investigate the reasons behind the avaricious rises in fertilizer prices.

    Ethanol is a crime.

  13. Ed 2022-02-02 11:18

    Charlie Hoffman had reservations about the project a month ago when the project was crossing his property, but now he thinks it is the greatest thing and poses no safety risk to anybody when he spoke at last Saturday’s cracker barrel in Aberdeen. Of course, his change of opinion might have something to do with fact that the pipeline has now been moved off of his property and placed on his adjoining neighbor’s land. What a guy! Summit Carbon Solutions is pulling out all the stops to try and mitigate the opposition to their boondoggle, but it’s not working with the majority of us landowners.

  14. Ed 2022-02-02 11:30

    Nick, the only money made from the pipeline will come from a federal subsidy in the form of at least a $50/ton tax credit for each ton of carbon dioxide put through the pipeline. With the company estimate of the amount of CO2 flowing in the pipeline, it appears that the pipeline will yield around 600 million dollars per year for the investors. So not only are landowners expected to give up our land for private gain through eminent domain, we taxpayers will be subsidizing the pipeline as well. Quite a deal, huh?

  15. Richard Schriever 2022-02-02 12:47

    Ed’s got it. this is a hand out to a corporate entity, not a hand up to any farmer.

  16. Mark Anderson 2022-02-02 17:10

    Thanks Nick Nemek, my brother-in-law probably went to a meeting today on this issue. It seems like a huge waste of time and energy to do this project and just another worry and bother to the landowners. I just read that Bidens policies are helping the farmers market rather than the idiocy of trumps trade war. Is that true?

  17. Mark Anderson 2022-02-02 17:15

    Nick Nemec, sorry I always put in k’s instead of c’s.

  18. Nick Nemec 2022-02-02 17:22

    Mark Anderson, grain prices have come up dramatically since the idiocy or the Trump tariff war with China. I credit Biden.

    Was the meeting your brother-in-law attended put on by the pipeline company and only for the landowners crossed? I didn’t see any notice of a public meeting.

    Don’t worry about the misspelling, I’ve seen probably 20 ways to spell a 5 letter name wrong.

  19. Arlo Blundt 2022-02-02 19:30

    Jerry is correct about Hoffman and others in the Legislature. They have no philosophy or priorities of their own other than to be on the winning side of the issue….if that is the Republican side. They let others do the thinking but stand by to lend their name and vote to any needed amendments. They carry the message back home and act offended if anyone asks them about their position. Their energy is spent perpetuating themselves in office.

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