Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Landowners rally in Pierre ahead of legislative session

Landowner rally in Pierre
C.J. Keene
Landowner rally in Pierre

Landowners opposed to eminent domain and carbon pipelines braved the weather ahead of the legislative session to gather at the state Capitol in Pierre.

In a packed rotunda of the Capitol building, landowners and legislative supporters gathered Monday to voice their opposition.

After two carbon pipeline projects were proposed last year, onlySummit Carbon Solutions continues its push to construct a carbon capture and sequestration pipeline in the state.

Ed Fischbach farms in Spink County. He said he was one of the founding members of the opposition groups in the state for eminent domain against Summit.

“We’re fighting, spending out of our own pockets to hire a lawyer, fight them from eminent domain. They have mountains and mountains of money backed by foreign companies, foreign countries, foreign companies, but we’re determined," said Fischbach. "We have the money against us, but we know we have the people."

Fischbach said organization members are not opposed to pipelines but to the transportation of carbon and use of eminent domain by carbon companies.

He said a primary reason for his push against carbon pipelines is safety.

“Most rural firefighters are farmers or just normal people that when the alarm goes off, they come off their combines and tractors and jump, run into town and get their gear on and go. They are not equipped for that sort of thing,” said Fischbach.  

Rep.Jon Hansen attended the rally. He said he plans to take eminent domain head-on this legislative session.

“Summit Carbon Solutions and pipeline companies like them should not be eligible for eminent domain. It is not a public use. It is a for-profit company where only a few people are profiting. It's not like water, it's not like roads, it's not like electricity. It's carbon sequestration," said Hansen. "Where only a few corporations and their shareholders are profiting. So, that’s not appropriate for eminent domain we ought to take that up this legislative session, and we will.”   

The 2024 legislative session kicks off Tuesday with the Governor’s State of the State address.

Evan Walton is an SDPB reporter based in Sioux Falls. Evan holds a Master’s in English Literature from Southern New Hampshire University and was honorably discharged from the United States Army in 2015, where he served for five years as an infantryman.