The Iowa Republicans looking to cash in on Republican tax credits for carbon capture with the Summit Carbon Solutions carbon dioxide pipeline don’t want to talk about whether the Public Utilities Commission’s rejection of Navigator CO2 Ventures’ application for a similar project bodes ill for their chances of PUC approval. But landowner lawyer Brian Jorde states the obvious—the PUC’s rejection of Navigator’s pipeline and Navigator’s effort to block county ordinances restricting CO2 pipelines means Summit’s application in South Dakota may fail just like its North Dakota application:
“Given they declined to strike down the Minnehaha ordinance, I see no reason why they would change that decision,” said Brian Jorde, an attorney who represents more than 100 landowners affected by the pipeline projects in multiple states. “It would be wise for Summit to either pull its application or state they are suspending their request for application — which they can do at any time — until they come up with a route that can comply with all applicable laws and ordinances.”
A Summit spokesperson declined to comment on the potential effects of the Navigator decision on the Summit proposal.
“Summit Carbon Solutions looks forward to our hearing with the South Dakota PUC starting on September 11,” said Sabrina Zenor, the company’s director of community relations [Jared Strong, “South Dakota’s Navigator Pipeline Decision Might Jeopardize Summit Proposal,” South Dakota Searchlight, 2023.09.07].
Summit says it is looking forward to Monday’s hearing, but the Iowa company is acknowledging that it has already lost half of its uphill battle: yesterday the company withdrew its motion asking the PUC to preëmpt county ordinances. So even in the apparently unlikely event that the PUC approves Summit’s application, pipeline opponents may still appeal to their local officials to enact ordinances that may protect them from the encroachments of pipeline land-grabbers.