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Farm Bureau Picks Corporate Speakers First, Adds Pipeline Skeptic to CO2 Forum Only After Catching Heck from Farmers

The pro-corporate Farm Bureau is hosting a panel discussion of on carbon dioxide pipelines at pro-corporate Dakotafest on August 16. The Farm Bureau initially stacked the panel with pro-corporate interests: CO2 pipeline developer Summit Carbon Solutions exec Jim Pirolli, early CO2 pipeline partner Glacial Lakes Energy CEO Jim Seurer, and corporation-protecting South Dakota Public Utilities Commission staff attorney Kristen Edwards. Landowners expressed a desire for a more balanced panel, and, remarkably, Farm Bureau responded by adding a skeptical landowner to the panel:

The South Dakota Farm Bureau has added a panelist to its carbon dioxide forum set for Aug. 16 at Dakotafest, said Farm Bureau executive director Krystil Smit.

Jay Poindexter of Ree Heights has been added to the panel, Smit said. Poindexter is a landowner who has been very involved in talking about these (CO2)projects, Smit said.

…“We never intended to leave out one side or the other,” Smit said [Rae Yost, “CO2 Forum at Dakotafest Will Change, Farm Bureau Says,” KELO-TV, 2022.08.01].

Sure, Krystil, Farm Bureau never intended to leave out any side. That’s why you initially invited corporate project promoters first and didn’t invite any of the actual farmers whose land may be seized for the pipeline project until you caught heck from landowners.

On paper, Jay Poindexter may not be a completely anti-CO2-pipeline activist. Poindexter holds stock in Glacial Lakes Energy, so if Summit’s project can help Glacial Lakes make money, it can help Poindexter make money. But Poindexter has applied for intervenor status in Summit Carbon Solutions’ permit application to the PUC, and he worked with prominent CO2 pipeline opponent Ed Fischbach and others to organize a public forum about the Summit Carbon Solutions project on February 2 in Redfield:

As the discussion continued, one meeting attendee asked if the pipeline would go through any high-population areas. Jay Poindexter and Ed Fischbach responded to the question.

“From what I understand, there is no maps that I have been able to find for this particular pipeline in South Dakota on the internet. I’ve looked and looked and looked. From what I understand, correct me if I’m wrong, Ed. It is going to go from the plant out here east to the main pipeline. It is going to go up through your land,” said Poindexter.

“Correct. One of the reasons you don’t see that is because we don’t even have a definite route yet. I’ve been hearing from neighbors that are getting calls now that they might even adjust the route. I just got a call from a landowner down in Tea last night. Most of those people are on the Dakota Access oil line and that is supposed to run on the same easement this was. Now they are being told they are moving that and readjusting that. So now they don’t even know where the route really is,” said Fischbach.

“When they do give an easement…I don’t know about South Dakota, but I have a friend that has a big ranch out in Montana and he has a pipeline years ago that went through his land. On that easement, because they didn’t read the fine print, they now have three pipelines where they only had one. It’s once you sign that easement,” said Poindexter. “I did ask if they were going to pay anything like a subsidy every year. They said, ‘no, it is a one-time deal.’ When they buy that land from you..if they ever have to go out there and have a leak they will come and pay you for your crop damage, but you are never going to get more than that one check” [Shiloh Appel, “Landowners Meet in Redfield to Discuss CO2 Pipeline,” Redfield Press, 2022.02.24].

Poindexter, Seurer, Pirolli, and Edwards will say their piece and take pre-submitted written questions vetted by the Farm Bureau at the Dakotafest Education Building Tuesday, August 16, at 10:30 a.m.

19 Comments

  1. larry kurtz 2022-08-02 10:55

    One of the most amusing turns in the pipeline greenwashing scandal is that some Republican farmers are accusing Summit of buying into the Green New Deal!

  2. All Mammal 2022-08-02 11:32

    My dear ol pappy said all pipes break. He said it would look like a dense cobweb if you could see a map of all our pipelines, so why can’t we use some that we already have? Why keep paying our taxes to fork it over to land rapers? ALL pipes leak, break, spill, and some even kill. Peoples’ faces can melt off and little dogs can turn green before yacking up liquified organs. Lovely. Who’s to say there will be carbon dioxide and not chlorine schlepping through your back yard? We are all going to die but, man, some ways to go are just awful and avoidable. Call Erin Brockovich when your kids develop spongy bones or Rufus turns green.

  3. Arlo Blundt 2022-08-02 13:51

    All Mammel’s father is 100% correct. All pipelines laid by man will corrode and leak, sooner or later. It would be a good question to ask “What is the name of the contractor you will hire to lay the pipe, what projects have they built and what is the safety record of those projects??” Remember, pipelines aren’t fixed until they break and the damage is done. Pipelines require thousands of welds, all of them vulnerable.

    Farm Bureau?? It figures.

  4. Edwin Arndt 2022-08-02 14:30

    Does anyone have a clue by how much this carbon capture
    pipeline will reduce green house gases or global warming?
    Would it be a significant amount?

  5. Edwin Arndt 2022-08-02 14:35

    If the questions have to be pre-submitted and vetted they are apparently
    afraid to answer questions that they deem to tough.

  6. larry kurtz 2022-08-02 14:51

    As long as construction on the pipeline begins before January 2026, Summit Carbon Solutions would be eligible for the 45Q carbon sequestration tax credit, which pays $50 for each metric ton of carbon stored in 2026 and increases with inflation after that. With contracts in place to sequester at least 9 million tons of carbon per year and a maximum capacity of 12 million, Summit Carbon Solutions could receive a windfall of between $450 million and $600 million in tax credits in 2026 alone.

    https://www.mitchellrepublic.com/news/south-dakota/carbon-pipeline-opposed-by-some-landowners-may-split-south-dakotas-republican-caucus-over-eminent-domain

  7. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-08-02 15:06

    Edwin, the company will tell you their pipeline will move a lot of carbon dioxide underground… but it won’t reduce greenhouse gas emissions as much as ditching the internal combustion engine and switching to electric cars. We can make waste and try to bury it, or we can just not make the waste in the first place.

    Either way, I’m not convinced the pipeline is worth seizing property through eminent domain, especially not for a private for-profit project.

  8. larry kurtz 2022-08-02 15:32

    Today’s Minnehaha County Commission meeting included a confrontation between Jeff Barth and a certain short, rotund Hebrew wearing Summit merch who also works for the House of Saud and the SDGOP to boot.

  9. Edwin Arndt 2022-08-02 15:42

    Cory, I would like to know what the amount of green house gas emissions
    would be decreased by the pipeline as a per cent of total green house
    gas emissions. Does anyone have those figures?
    I have an open mind about electric vehicles but I
    will have to be shown. In our northern winters I’m
    sceptical of taking a trip with one although they may
    work out as commuter cars if they can be charged
    in the garage every night. I just don’t see electric
    tractors on farms. I mean 450 hp 4 wheel drive tractors.

  10. P. Aitch 2022-08-02 15:55

    New ideas and new things are a real problem for some people. Lucky for USA almost all those people live places that are inconsequential to the progress, growth, and strength of America.

  11. larry kurtz 2022-08-02 17:34

    Please join me in sending some money to Jeff Barth so the people will finally have a voice on the SDPUC.

  12. Nick Nemec 2022-08-03 13:14

    Jay Poindexter is a member of a well respected Hand County family, his land and the land of other family members in Hand and Hyde Counties will be crossed by the pipeline. His opposition to the CO2 pipeline is genuine, he has been at every pipeline meeting I have been to and is not afraid to speak up on this issue. If the pipeline plans are eventually dropped it will be in no small part because of the grassroots efforts of people like Jay and Ed Fischbach. The fact that he is also an investor in an ethanol plant is a red herring and should not detract from the work he has already done on this issue.

  13. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-08-03 14:49

    Edwin, how about an electric tractor that drives itself? See my December 2020 post.

    I don’t have exact figures, and neither may the pipeliners, but whatever the number, the pipeline won’t remove as much carbon dioxide and other emissions as simply not burning that fuel in the first place. Replacing internal combustion engine use provides the greatest benefit.

    The carbon dioxide also won’t net-reduce emissions if it is shipped to North Dakota and then used for fracking more Bakken oil.

  14. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-08-03 14:51

    But let me ask you, Edwin: is there some percentage of greenhouse gas emissions that will cause you to say, “Yes, let’s seize Jay Poindexter’s and other farmers’ land so these Iowa developers can make money shipping CO2”? What’s the magic number you’re after?

  15. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-08-03 14:53

    Nick, thanks for vouching for Poindexter as the real deal. I think it’s relevant in a good way that Poindexter is an investor in ethanol. He has a financial stake in Glacial Lakes Energy, yet he isn’t buying their argument that they need this pipeline to remain profitable. Poindexter can speak very directly to the argument Terry Branstad makes for Summit that the opponents of the CO2 pipeline are just trying to put corn farmers out of business. Poindexter likely very much wants to keep corn farmers in business making ethanol.

  16. Edwin Arndt 2022-08-03 23:03

    Cory, I remember your post on tractors that drive themselves.
    I don’t think it will work. The risk is too great and the variables
    too many to sense. It relies too much on sensors that are likely
    to fail. One of the modern John Deere combines has around
    125 sensors on the machine. If one sensor fails the machine
    stops. I have a friend who farms with her son. And together with three
    other neighbors they kept one John Deere technician busy during
    last seasons harvest, and that was with someone driving the machines.
    I really don’t believe very many farmers are going to trust to sensors
    a tractor and planter that may cost perhaps 400,000.00 .
    I just don’t see it happening. I sincerely doubt that you can take the human element
    out of field work. Yes, tractors can drive themselves, that’s called auto steer.
    But I don’t think a farmer will take the chance that the auto steer will
    fail and the tractor drives itself into a power poll, or a gravel pit.
    There is just an awful lot of stuff that can go wrong.

    i

  17. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-08-04 08:07

    You don’t think technology will improve, Edwin? You think there’s too much risk in sensors, like the sensors farmers are already using in their tractors and drones to plant by GPS?

    There’s a lot that can go wrong with fossil fuels, too, like causing a global ecological catastrophe that will turn the Great Plains into a desert and leave us with nothing to do with our tractors but try to drag our belongings to some last arable haven in Nunavut.

    We are finding ways to replace internal combustion engines. Pursuing that improved technology to reduce overall emissions of greenhouse gases will do more good than taking land away from farmers to build CO2 pipelines to facilitate the burning of more ethanol and, possibly, the fracking of more oil and gas.

  18. Edwin Arndt 2022-08-04 09:17

    No , Cory, I don’t think technology will improve to the extent that it
    will be possible to eliminate the human factor from agricultural
    field operations. At least for many years.

    Your reading me wrong about carbon capture. I would like to
    know how much this scheme would affect climate change
    if at all. If my suspicions are correct it would be another
    argument that could be advanced against the pipeline.
    Be that as it may, under present law, the pipeline can
    be built. That is reality. Possibly the carbon capture pipeline
    could be delayed until laws are changed, but I wouldn’t
    count on it.

    Cory, I try my best to be a realist about situations.
    Refusing to acknowledge reality is never a good plan.

    A bit on electric tractors. You can fill the diesel fuel tank on
    a tractor in perhaps 20 minutes. How long will it take to
    recharge this massive battery that would be required to pull
    a 24 row planter? Does anyone have those numbers?
    Or even thought about them?
    Cory, would you book a fight on a plane that didn’t have
    a human pilot?

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