Pipeline bill passes South Dakota House on a 40-30 vote

February 29, 2024

PIERRE, S.D.–The South Dakota State House voted 40-to-30 on Wednesday to advance Senate Bill 201, a bill which sets the framework by which the Summit Carbon Solutions CO2 pipeline project could move forward in the state.

“There is a myth being pushed that we can only be fair to the projects or farmers,” said House Majority Leader Will Mortenson, one of the bill’s prime sponsors. “That is a false dichotomy, it is a lie.”

Touted by leadership as a compromise measure, the bill would make substantial changes to the way the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) permits “linear projects” in the future.

Specifically, it calls for the PUC to be able override – or preempt – more burdensome county-level restrictions like how far pipelines have to be from certain land uses like buildings, residences or schools.

It also would allow counties to collect a $1 surcharge for every foot of pipeline running through their county.

“These dollars go back to these counties, local school districts,” said Rep. Roger Chase, a former county commissioner. “This is an opportunity for these localities to gain money that has not been available to them.”

The bill now goes to a conference committee.