South Dakota landowners question credibility of Summit Carbon Solutions owners, leadership

“We’re calling on ethanol companies that have signed up now with Summit. If they didn’t know about this, it’s time to pull the plug, and they should get out.”
Published: Jul. 21, 2022 at 10:53 AM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -An allegation of who has ownership and direction of Summit Carbon Solutions is sending shock waves across the midwestern states considering the company’s request to build a CO2 Pipeline.

While the South Dakota public utilities commission continues to review the CO2 pipeline application from Summit Carbon Solutions, nearby states are doing the same. In Iowa, a resident submitted her research findings to the Iowa public utility board, claiming ownership connections to SKE&S, which she says is also SK holdings, a company fined over 70 million dollars for defrauding US military contracts.

Attorney Brian Jorde with Domina Law Group represents South Dakota Landowners and has reviewed the documents.

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.

“The South Korean entity has taken a 10% ownership in Summit carbon solutions. Is this who you want, owning operating a pipeline through your state?” said Jorde.

Ed Fischbach of Spink county meets with neighbors fighting the pipeline.

“We’re calling on ethanol companies that have signed up now with Summit. If they didn’t know about this, it’s time to pull the plug, and they should get out,” said Fischbach. However, he says he also feels bad for those who have already signed land use agreements and are now discovering more about the company.

In addition to foreign interest concerns, others are questioning how the South Dakota Republican Party Chair, Dan Lederman, can fairly serve those he works for: the Party, Summit Carbon Solutions, and a foreign county.

“Lederman filed with the Department of Justice that he’s lobbying for the Royal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, their embassy, getting paid ten grand a month to do that,” said Jorde.

At a recent Brown County Commission meeting, Lederman wore a shirt with a Summit Carbon Solutions logo.

“I’m here as, as a representative for Summit to ask that you postpone this passing,” said Lederman.

The commission approved a pipeline moratorium despite his request.

PUC Candidate Jeff Barth is at odds with Lederman.

“It’s time to protect the people, not protect your employer, Dan. It’s time for Dan to resign,” said Barth.

“You know, this pipeline is not about South Dakota, okay. It’s about foreign entities and enriching billionaires and foreign countries,” said Jorde.

Our I-team reached out to Lederman through e-mail, phone, voicemail, and text message. We did not receive a response.

Jesse Harris, Director of Public Affairs at Summit Carbon Solutions, however, did respond by saying:

“A wide range of individuals and organizations have invested in Summit Carbon Solutions because they share our view that there are significant opportunities to economically decarbonize the agricultural and ethanol industries, which will enhance their long-term sustainability. The company will continue to meet or exceed all federal, state, and local regulatory requirements, including financial requirements, as we work to open new economic opportunities for ethanol producers, strengthen the agricultural marketplace for farmers, and generating new revenues for local communities to support schools, hospitals, roads and more.”

links to SK Holdings fines and court information:

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