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South Dakota PUC Commissioners Deny Summit Carbon Solutions Pipeline Application
South Dakota Ag Connection - 09/14/2023

The Public Utilities Commission has voted to deny Summit Carbon Solutions an application for its carbon pipeline project before formal proceedings.

This comes a week after the commission denied a similar project by Navigator CO2. The first motion in Summit Carbon Solution’s application hearing came from PUC staffers who recommended a denial.

The move came after the company withdrew a motion asking the PUC to overrule county ordinances along the proposed pipeline route.

Commissioner Gary Hanson is the Vice Chairman of the PUC and led Summit’s hearing.

He said he does not like the way the company approached gaining easements in the state.

“I’m concerned with how many easements you’ve pursued through lawsuits. Do you have a number," asked Hanson. ‘150 or 160 to my best knowledge’,” responded Brett Koenecke, Summit’s legal representative.

Without voluntary easements or PUC approval to veto county commission decisions, PUC staffers argued the project could not be built.

Commissioner Chris Nelson challenged Summit’s legal team to answer how their current application could comply with state law.

“Why are you not in the same boat? I mean, your testimony of your witnesses vs. where the project is at, and where the counties are at, at this point, it appears to me, that it is an impossibility. Explain to me why it’s not,” asked Nelson.

Summit’s legal representative Brett Koenecke said regardless of the outcome over the company’s application, carbon pipelines are going to happen.


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