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Barth Runs for PUC, Promises to Protect Landowners from Eminent Domain and CO2 Pipeline

Democratic nominee Jeff Barth will run against incumbent Republican Chris Nelson for Public Utilities Commissioner. In accepting his party’s nomination yesterday in Fort Pierre, Minnehaha County Commissioner Barth made clear that he will defend the rights of South Dakota landowners against the predations of the rich Iowa Republicans who want to seize their land and build a carbon dioxide pipeline:

The PUC is considering a state permit for a proposed Summit Carbon Solutions pipeline that would collect carbon dioxide from various ethanol plants in the region and bury the gas in North Dakota.

“The CO2 pipeline, it’s, it’s really a terrible thing,” Barth said. He noted that when Dan Lederman, the South Dakota Republican chairman, first brought the proposal to the Minnehaha County Commission, Barth thought, “Oh okay, what is this?

“And the more I found about it, the more I turned against it. It can explode. It can kill you by asphyxiation. This is going to make a lot of money, for some people, but not that much for anybody in South Dakota. Certainly some of our ethanol plants are excited to have it. But they’ve been operating without this pipeline for thirty years.

…“So my opponent Chris Nelson says he has nothing to do with eminent domain. Eminent domain is certainly something he gives to a company when they get a permit for a project. He is telling a lie when he says eminent domain has nothing to do with him.”

“He (Nelson) then goes on to say that he cannot, that he has to approve a project if they check all the boxes,” Barth continued. “Why don’t we have the DMV handle the paperwork? Check all the boxes, let that company use eminent domain to damage your land permanently, to endanger your family. What do we have beside land and family? Let’s not let that happen” [Bob Mercer, “SD Democrats Don’t Run a Candidate Against Jackley,” KELO-TV, updated 2022.07.10].

Land and family—Barth knows how to frame a campaign message around values! That should make Chris Nelson squirm…and it should make conservative rural landowners who normally lean Republican think a little more about who really represents their values.

Perhaps Chris Nelson will also squirm at the prospect of Jeff Barth getting his video-band back together from 2012, when the Barth for Congress campaign put together the greatest South Dakota campaign video ever. Watch that 2012 gem here (and note the 31 years in that Bell hardhat “climbing poles and digging holes”), and then watch for the 2022 update explaining why Jeff Barth should be our next Public Utilities Commissioner!


  1. 96Tears 2022-07-10 10:47

    Jeff Barth is the Democrats’ smartest pick for statehouse races, other than the gubernatorial ticket. He’s got career-long experience in utilities and he’s been a force on the Minnehaha County Commission for many years. Best, he knows how to make an issue that matters be the centerpiece of his campaign.

    At one time, Democrats had all three seats on the state PUC. They protected consumers and protected farmers from rip-offs and bad ideas like the recent pipeline boondoggles. When Democrats let the PUC slip away into the hands of career apple polishers for dirty oil, coal and Big Energy, the public’s protection against rip-offs and bad ideas evaporated. Barth knows how to fight the thugs in blue suits. His election would be a great step forward for Democrats and our state’s citizens.

  2. jerry 2022-07-10 11:58

    Booyah! What 96 Tears said!!

  3. Scott Ehrisman 2022-07-10 12:06

    Should have ran Barth for SOS instead.

  4. bearcreekbat 2022-07-10 12:29

    Plus Jeff is a USCF Class A rated chess player!

  5. mike from iowa 2022-07-10 13:36

    bcb for AG and John Tsitrian for guv. Cory for whatever position in gubmint he wants. Nick Nemec for overseer of law enforcement officials. Grudzilla for crusty imaginary goat roper.

  6. 96Tears 2022-07-10 14:21

    In Wyoming, mike, some goat ropers are held in high esteem in certain circles.

  7. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-07-10 14:29

    BCB, we need more chess players in government, as well as more high school debaters.

  8. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-07-10 14:30

    Scott, I believe Jeff would deliver great service in almost any elected office. However, I can see the logic of applying his experience working in utilities to the Public Utilities Commission.

  9. Ron Jon 2022-07-10 15:34

    If you can “check all the boxes” and then get told “no,” an injustice is committed. For example, like KXL or not, to revoke an approval is Banana Republic stuff. It shouldn’t happen and anyone in a position of responsibility who does otherwise shouldn’t hold that position. It is fundamentally unfair. If you don’t like CO2 pipelines (I think it is a boondoggle), then your avenue is change the law, not ignore it and do what you want.

  10. mike from iowa 2022-07-10 16:05

    96 Tears, around here it was considered to be a mild insult along with pogey bait, which I never did figure out what that means,

  11. Mark Anderson 2022-07-10 16:53

    It all depends on who is checking the boxes checked Ron Jon.

  12. sam2 2022-07-10 17:12

    Chris Nelson can not be brought by the Carbon solution people they already own him

  13. larry kurtz 2022-07-10 18:17

    Indeed. Why would Chris Nelson run for any higher office since he’s getting rich squatting where he already sits? Shantel Krebs hated Noem, an amateur now-turned professional catwalk contestant, supported Chris Nelson in 2010 and gleefully gave up names of people to call who also knew about Noem’s infidelities.

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