Wed, Sep 6, 2023 3:16 PM
By Kim Jarrett, The Center Square
The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission unanimously denied a permit from Navigator CO2 to build a carbon dioxide pipeline in the state.
About 112 miles of the 1,300-mile pipeline would run through South Dakota. The $3 billion project includes portions of Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota and Nebraska.
Residents questioned the safety of the proposed pipeline and its impact in a hearing held in July.
"This proposed project is 112 miles of disruption and destruction of the very way of life of thousands of South Dakotans," said Brian Jorde, an attorney representing landowners in the pipeline's path during the hearing. "It will have a negative economic impact on their farming and ranching and other businesses."
James Moore, an attorney for Navigator, asked the PUC on Wednesday not to decide based on politics.
"I know there's been a lot of vocal opposition to this case but I don't think there is evidence in the record that more people oppose this project than support it," Moore told the commission.
Navigator can re-apply for a permit in the next three years.
"While we are disappointed with the recent decision to deny our permit application in South Dakota, our company remains committed to responsible infrastructure development," the company said in a statement. "We will evaluate the written decision of the public utilities commission once issued and determine our course of action in South Dakota thereafter."
Other states are pushing back against the pipeline. Illinois residents also cited safety concerns in a meeting held in July.
The Illinois Chamber of Commerce wrote a letter supporting the pipeline.
“The economic benefits from this large-scale energy operation reaches a variety of sectors,” the chamber said in its letter. “In Illinois, the capital investment for this project is estimated to be $795 million and create 3,565 employment opportunities during peak construction.”
Other states have not decided on the pipeline, one of several proposed in the Midwest.
Next week, the PUC will consider an application from Summit Carbon Solutions for a carbon dioxide pipeline traversing North Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska and Minnesota. A decision is expected on Nov. 15, the PUC said previously.
North Dakota regulators rejected Summit's application last month.
The Iowa Public Utilities Board is wrapping up a three-week hearing on Summit's proposal but has not indicated when it will make a decision.