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.