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Navigator Not Pulling Plug on CO2 Pipeline in South Dakota Yet

Carbon dioxide pipelines might look dead in South Dakota after the Public Utilities Commission rejected the two permits before it within two weeks. But Navigator CO2 Ventures says it hasn’t formally killed the South Dakota branch of its proposed CO2 pipeline:

“We have not taken any state off the map,” Elizabeth Burns-Thompson, of Navigator CO2, told South Dakota Searchlight in an interview Friday.

The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission unanimously voted Sept. 6 to deny Navigator’s application for a construction permit.

Since then, Burns-Thompson said, the Omaha, Nebraska-based company has released contracted land agents and walked back some business operations “in the South Dakota footprint.” The company is reallocating resources elsewhere, at least until it sees the written permit-denial order from the commission, which is due by Sept. 26.

“It’s important for us to see that in black and white,” Burns-Thompson said, adding she could not say what a new approach in South Dakota would look like “until we see that legal opinion.”

Burns-Thompson said speculation that Navigator is giving up on the South Dakota portion of its project is based on text messages between some landowners and recently released contractors who are not company employees.

“No letters or messages indicating a withdrawal from South Dakota were sent on behalf of Navigator,” she said [Joshua Haiar and Jared Strong, “Carbon Pipeline Company Has Not ‘Taken Any State Off the Map’ After SD Permit Rejection,” South Dakota Searchlight, 2023.09.15].

Chase Jensen of Dakota Rural Action says there’s too much money in the game with Big Ethanol to declare Navigator vanquished:

“I don’t think they’re done. I don’t think they’ve dropped the ethanol plants, and I don’t know if the ethanol plants would let them off that easy after how much they’ve gone through the dirt for this project,” Dakota Rural Action Lobbyist Chase Jensen told the Argus Leader.

…The proposed system was planned to connect to five ethanol plants under POET, one of the largest biorefiners in the U.S., as well as a Valero Renewable Fuels plant.

If Navigator decided to abandon its aims to build its pipeline in South Dakota, Jensen said the company would lose out on their major agreement with POET.

“POET signing with Navigator was a really big thing. I think if they gave up in South Dakota … I think it would be significant,” Jensen said. “Jeff Broin waited late in the game to decide who he signed up with, and he went with Navigator, so unless he could get the same deal … with Summit on each of the plants’ contracts, I don’t think he would switch” [Dominik Dausch, “Navigator Pipeline Shutdown Rumors Do Not Reflect Current Project Status in SD, Company Says,” Sioux Falls Argus Leader via Yahoo, 2023.09.15].

Keep your eyes open, landowners: come the PUC’s written order on September 26, there’s as much chance Navigator will file a new application as there is Navigator will just give up on South Dakota and shift its plans elsewhere.


  1. jerry 2023-09-18 07:34

    The bribe hasn’t been fully negotiated yet. Where’s the old EB5 team when you need them? Someone call Joop as the intermediary, surely he needs to replenish his Egyptian knickknacks.

  2. larry kurtz 2023-09-18 11:52

    What Jerry said.

    This interested party is having a discussion about CO2 at a blog based in Colorado Springs. The loudest voices are coming from a group that calls itself the CO2 Coalition that’s funded by the far white wing of the Republican Party. They applauded Herr Trump’s decision to pull us from the Paris climate accords and were ejected from a teachers conference last March for lying about industry’s role in climate catastrophes.

    They argue carbon dioxide should simply be vented because the planet is actually in a CO2 deficit despite overwhelming contradictory evidence.

    Scary times, indeed.

  3. P. Aitch 2023-09-18 12:41

    Colorado Springs, Interested Party? That’s a part of Colorado we don’t send tourists to. Maybe “Garden of the God’s”, “Cheyenne Mountain Zoo”, “Broadmoor Ice Arena” and then straight north to my liberal domain.

  4. larry kurtz 2023-09-18 12:57

    Higher speed passenger rail between Santa Fe and Denver and more is long overdue especially since I-25 is such excruciating torment.

  5. Korey Jackson 2023-09-18 19:46

    At the moment, are there ANY carbon capture & sequestration (CC&S) projects ongoing in South Dakota? Are there any applications before a state, county, or municipal governmental body for approval?

    Besides the somewhat milquetoast SDDOT draft strategy for reducing the South Dakota’s transportation system’s contributions, what are South Dakota’s plans and proposals to reduce its atmospheric CO2 emissions?

    Is there a near-to-mid-term future in South Dakota for carbon capture and sequestration? If so, are CO2 pipelines going to be part of that future?

  6. grudznick 2023-09-18 19:50

    There are none, Mr. Jackson. The tree-huggers and the libbies and the wing nuts and the American Indians have effectively joined forces to kill any sensible approach to reduce C02 emissions.

    Ironic, innit?

  7. P. Aitch 2023-09-18 22:27

    grudznichts – That’s in the top five most ridiculous and totally bullshiet statements you’ve ever typed. And you’re a really old POS, aren’t ‘ya?

  8. jkl 2023-09-19 10:53

    People who feel intellectually inferior call others “POS” as a defense mechanism and as a way to cope with their own feelings of insecurity – shame – envy and lack of self- appreciation.

  9. P. Aitch 2023-09-19 12:50

    JKL, buddy. Are you OK? Isn’t it hard to dance with that stick up your ass? (*That’s a joke like asking grudz if he’s a POS as a term of competitive endearment. Subtle humor is wasted on you, huh JKL? BTW – jkl stands for “Just kidding, Lucy” from the Lucille Ball Show circa 1960’s)

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