Commerce and Energy

A proposal to add electronic devices to the state’s wiretapping laws probably won’t be used much in the future.

The House Commerce and Energy Committee has approved a measure dealing with renewable energy. House Bill 12-10 expands protection for citizens from energy companies. The bill adds solar power to an existing law dealing with land owner protections.

After a slow start lawmakers expect issues to pick up from legislation dealing with IM-22 to a new animal diagnostic lab at SDSU. 

Black Hills Corporation is an energy company based in Rapid City. In February, Black Hills Corp acquired Source Gas in a 1.9 billion dollar deal. The company now serves 1.2 million natural gas and electric utility customers in eight states, including South Dakota.

SDPB’s Charles Michael Ray sat down with Chairman and CEO David Emery to talk about consolidation in the energy industry and the responsibility and challenges for companies like Black Hills Corp regarding renewable sources of energy for customers … and for the climate.

Bill to Regulate Short-Term, Small Dollar Loans Fails

Feb 19, 2014

The payday loan industry won’t face further regulation after legislation in Pierre floundered in committee. The measure sought to place restrictions on the industry, including a cap of the amount of money that could be borrowed. Representative Steve Hickey is the prime sponsor of House Bill 1255. But the bill failed to garner industry support.

Senate Bill 170 seeks to revise compensation for damage on surface land done by mining and oil drilling companies. It narrowly passed out of the Senate Commerce and Energy committee Tuesday morning after more than an hour of debate. Supporters say current landowners deserve the right to negotiate compensation. But opponents argue the language is too vague.

Direct Wine Shipment Bill Sent to Appropriations

Feb 18, 2014

Legislation to allow wine shipments in South Dakota is moving to another committee, after failing to pass out of the Senate Commerce and Energy committee it’s second time through. Senate Bill 114 made it out of committee last week without recommendation, but the bill was sent back to Commerce from the Senate floor. No further testimony was heard Tuesday, but the bill was reconsidered to allow Senator Dan Lederman the chance to vote after being absent last week. Lederman says he continues to disagree with the measure.

Panel Okays Higher Penalty For Mislabeled Octane

Jan 30, 2013

Two Huron men want higher criminal penalties for mislabeling the octane content in fuel. Representative Dick Werner and Beadle County State’s Attorney Michael Moore say increased fines will reduce the profitability of passing off lower octane fuel as higher octane.

Moore says the state Department of Public Safety notified prosecutors after a statewide investigation showed that octane was mislabeled in several areas of the state.

That investigation was followed by an attorney general’s investigation and litigation.

Committee Declines Bill Defining Legal Tender for SD

Jan 30, 2013

By Victoria Wicks

A proposal to allow residents to use gold and silver coins as legal tender failed to pass the House Commerce and Energy Committee on Wednesday. Witnesses, including two legislators, testified that the proposed law allows security at a time when the value of the U.S. dollar is uncertain. But a state revenue department spokesman says there’s nothing stopping anyone from using gold and silver now.

Representative Dan Kaiser and Senator Dan Lederman were joined by a young businessman from Jefferson, South Dakota, in supporting House Bill 1100.