As the ethanol lobby pushes for Summit Carbon Solutions’ carbon dioxide sequestration pipeline, Jamie Fisk of Tulare doesn’t want carbon dioxide pipeliners taking his land or anyone else’s. He wants every county commission to join his Spink County Commission and four other counties in enacting moratoria on carbon dioxide pipelines:
South Dakota citizens need your help.
We need to get on the agenda at every County Commission meeting and ask them to write Moratoriums until they can draft Ordinances routing these pipelines. We, the citizens in every County, deserve reasonable protection from the CO2 pipelines being forced on us by private companies. The CO2 pipelines of the type proposed for our area have never been built anywhere and are being built by companies that have never built or managed a hazardous CO2 pipeline. Summit Carbon Solutions is a new private for-profit company formed to take advantage of massive lucrative 45Q Federal tax credits (directly and indirectly), also known as corporate welfare. Their proposed carbon pipeline will be the largest and longest CO2 pipelines ever constructed in the United States, and will only take CO2 from Ethanol plants. They do NOT take CO2 from any other sources that do exist. This company has not previously built, or has no management experience in hazardous CO2 pipelines. South Dakota will be the guinea pig for their experiment.
This is NOT all about CO2 pipeline going in the ground. If this project goes through, they will be applying to the Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR) for permits to take MILLIONS of gallons of water from the artesian aquifer to cool their pumps along the route. DNR had considered granting a permit to Redfield Energy for this purpose. This will affect many farm, ranches, and small towns that rely on this water source for domestic use.
Spink, Brown, and McPherson County Commissioners have done an OUTSTANDING job of protecting their citizens by passing ordinances that route this hazardous pipeline away from home, cities, feedlots, hospitals, schools, etc. These counties have NOT been swayed by the taxes this pipeline could possibly generate and further commissioner enticement of “grant money” to be used for anything; this would be quid pro quo to ascertain affirmative support. SCS claims that the taxes will benefit county residents. Does this out-weigh the dangers that would be present? Greed for 45Q Federal tax is what is driving the need for this and similar pipelines.
The SD PUC has followed the State statute that gives the Counties the authority to route pipelines. SCS at several meetings stated that these counties have miles of existing hazardous pipelines. This is a true statement for Oil and Natural Gas pipelines. There are NO current CO2 pipelines in any County in South Dakota.
Oil and Natural Gas leaks are easily contained and cleaned up. CO2 is an asphyxiant, (killing any people or animals). It would look like a fog as it is heavier than air. Anyone entering the cloud would need to wear a respirator.
SCS personnel are currently out in Northern Spink and Southern Brown, trying to obtain easements and planning 4 different possible routes. The easements are paying 20% up front with the other 80% being paid once the pipeline has been built.
At many Commission meetings SCS is on the agenda for 15 minutes and often take more than 1 hour. They have asked for a 2-hour meeting several times. Our County Commissioners have full agendas with many important items to evaluate and decisions to be made. The number of times SCS has kept coming back is almost to the point of harassment.
When SCS re-files with the SD PUC for a new permit, possibly before the end of 2023. It will be very important for the Citizens of SD to attend the PUC meetings with comments to present. Please be ready to step up at these meetings and present your comments. Also be sure to post them on the new docket.
Any Landowner willing to sign one of these easements, needs to be sure to have this pipeline at least 6ft. in the ground and at least 2500ft from a resident’s buildings. Once you sign, you have given up all your rights to the land you own. I suggest you do your research and get informed first. Ask yourself, how will this affect my family, business, livestock, and if the money is worth the trouble? Be sure to contact a lawyer before you give up your property rights to your land.
This CO2 does not come from the combustion engine (that is CO Carbon Monoxide). CO2 is coming from only the fermentation of corn in the Ethanol plant. At present it is being injected into the steam that is part of the cook-off process making ethanol.
There are foreign investments and ties to foreign companies in Summit’s company, including a South Korean company SKE&S, which is related to SK Holdings, a company ¬fined over 70 million dollars for defrauding US military contracts. The Department of Justice documents show SK Holdings pleaded guilty in 2018 and again in 2020 to Government Fraud. Another case was listed as a settlement, while another is still pending.
There are currently 229,287 miles of hazardous liquid pipelines (Natural Gas, Oil and CO2) in the US. About 2.2% or 5,100 miles are CO2 pipelines – – currently the most in the world. The vast majority, above 90%, of CO2 pipelines are used for enhanced oil recovery. At least 80% of CO2 in the pipes comes from high pressure, high purity natural geological underground domes. The 5,100 miles of CO2 pipelines include the Cortez (502 miles), Sheep Mountain (408 miles) and Bravo (218 miles). The rest of the pipelines are around 100 miles or less each.
This article is to support County Commissions that are doing the right thing to protect their Citizens. I urge other Counties to follow the lead of Brown, Spink and McPherson Counties. Landowners need to be informed of these issues before they sign any agreement.
—Jamie Fisk, Tulare