Opponents to a proposed carbon sequestration pipeline are becoming regular attendees at Brown County Commission meetings.
They stated their concerns again during the regular commission meeting on Tuesday, April 11 in the county courthouse annex.
Former commissioner Dennis Feickert of rural Aberdeen was the first to comment. He said Summit Carbon Solutions is sending out letters threatening condemnation to those who own property along the proposed pipeline route and haven’t yet granted easements. He said the letters include Summit’s final offer and that landowners have 10 days to respond.
To Feickert, the letters amount to a scare tactic.
Summit has plans to build a 2,000-mile pipeline through the Dakotas, Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska. It would carry carbon dioxide emissions from ethanol plants in those states that would be stored underground in western North Dakota. The estimated cost is $4.5 billion.
The sequestration process would allow ethanol plants to sell their fuel to West Coast states and Canada, which require ethanol with lower carbon intensity scores. Pipeline users would also get carbon tax credits.
Opposition to the project is especially strong in Brown and McPherson counties. There is also ongoing legal wrangling between landowners in South Dakota and Summit.
Before construction could begin, the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission would have to approve the project. The commission meets this week to discuss CO2 pipeline matters.
Feickert wasn’t the only person to speak against the project.
Could pipeline help China take over?
Dewayne Siebrasse of rural Aberdeen called the pipeline proposal “a boondoggle,” adding that people he’s visited with don’t want it.
Siebrasse does not own land along the proposed route, but said he is concerned that the carbon tax credits resulting from the line would go to China, a nation he thinks is trying to take over South Dakota and the U.S.
The pipeline movement is corrupt and dangerous, Siebrasse said, adding that he’s happy that commissioners are taking time to make the best decisions possible.
Jared Bossley owns land along the route and echoed Feickert’s comment about the letters from Summit amounting to a scare tactic.
“They can’t get the facts because there are none yet,” he said of Summit.
Nobody spoke on behalf of Summit Carbon Solutions during the meeting.
Equalization process starts for those who want to challenge property assessments
Brown County Director of Equalization Gene Loeschke told commissioners that the equalization process is beginning. That means he and other local government officials will hear from property owners who feel their assessments are too high and want to challenge them.
Future sessions are scheduled for Tuesday, April 18 and Tuesday, April 25, Loeschke said. Another could be set for May 2, if needed.
There are more commercial land appeals than usual this year, he said, because those assessments have had decent jumps in recent years.