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South Dakota House approves Controversial Pipeline Legislation

South Dakota House approves Controversial Pipeline Legislation

Pierre, SD: Legislation granting the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission authority over pipeline decisions approved by the House of Representatives following a prolonged discussion.

The PUC has the authority to override local jurisdictions under Senate Bill 201 if certain conditions are met. The bill proposes a new tax system for pipelines in counties, which would be based on the length of pipeline installed in each county.

“We are committed to supporting farmers,” stated House Majority Leader Will Mortenson, R-Fort Pierre. “We aim to treat them fairly. We aim to show them the respect they deserve. We want to ensure their protection while also seeking regulatory certainty. We should ensure fairness for these projects.

The legislation covers pipelines for transporting crude oil or other substances, as well as electrical transmission of 120 volts or higher, according to Mortenson.

Rep. Julie Auch, a representative from Yankton, was among the lawmakers who voiced opposition to the proposed legislation. It delineates a portion of the economy that has been under the regulation of counties and the PUC for more than a century, she mentioned.

“Why do you need this information?” “A linear C02 pipeline company is seeking certainty of the outcome,” Auch stated. “They aim to manipulate the system, a system that has been established for decades with significant success.”

The bill was approved with a 40-30 vote and is now returning to the Senate due to amendments made by the House. Rep. Chris Karr, R-Minnehaha, mentioned that he believes the bill will be sent to a conference committee.

“This language is likely to undergo significant changes, with only a few individuals in this room having the power to make the decision,” Karr said. The Senate has clearly expressed their stance on the matter, which differs from this legislation.

Last September, the South Dakota PUC denied Summit Carbon Solutions’ pipeline application to transport carbon dioxide to North Dakota for underground storage.

Hearings held by the Iowa Utilities Board regarding the Summit pipeline section in the state are pending a decision. Summit given opportunity to reapply after initial application rejection by North Dakota Public Service Commission.

Navigator Heartland Greenway’s proposal for a 112-mile carbon dioxide pipeline in South Dakota was rejected by the state’s PUC.

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