SD landowners see win in battle against pipeline companies
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - After a lengthy committee meeting in Pierre yesterday, South Dakotans saw at least one win in the battle against carbon pipeline companies looking to impose eminent domain on their land.
For the first time in South Dakota State Legislature and with a lot of pressure from the affected landowners, the State Affairs Committee looked at six bills that dealt with eminent domain and pipelines. The bills dealt with redefining what a commodity is, requiring landowner involvement in the decision-making process, as well as safety precautions when it comes to pipelines.
“We have some of these pipeline companies or just projects in general, private companies that are coming in. And really, we don’t know how long they’re going to be around, but we’ve wanted to pass this on to our family for future generations,” said Rep. Karla Lems.
The biggest win of the day for landowners came with HB 1133, which made it so carbon pipelines could not be considered common carriers, which restricts would mean the carbon pipeline companies could not exercise eminent domain and forcefully take another’s land.
“We are fighting for basic rights, the right to property, the right to do what you want on your own land, and there’s really nothing more basic than that,” said Brian Jorde, a lawyer that is representing landowners.
The committee meeting went on longer than expected with all the emotional testimony. Two of the six bills did pass and will be heard on the house floor later this week.
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