Navigator takes opposition head on, can't promise it won't use eminent domain
Lawmaker, pipeline representative square off in 'Property Rights & CO2 Pipeline' debate
BROOKINGS — A pipeline company likely to use eminent domain to finish a project through South Dakota faced angry land rights advocates head on Tuesday night.
Navigator CO2 vice president of government and public affairs Elizabeth Burns-Thompson and Dell Rapids lawmaker Jon Hansen squared off in the Property Rights & CO2 Pipeline debate here at the Dacotah Bank Event Center, marking the first ever debate on eminent domain reform in South Dakota.
Hansen, a leader in the movement to remove carbon from the list of utilities eligible for the forced taking of land, and Burns-Thompson, representing not just Navigator but the carbon sequestration industry that hopes to bury carbon produced by ethanol plants underground, spent an hour fielding questions from moderator Sara Frankenstein on eminent domain, the future of the corn industry and domestic politics.
Hansen leaned on his South Dakota roots throughout the debate.
“Like many of the impacted landowners, I am a fifth generation South Dakotan,” Hansen said during his opening remarks. “My family took a claim under the Homestead Act to get here.”
Noting that fellow carbon pipeline company Summit Carbon Solutions (SCS) declined several invitations to the same forum, Hansen offered several nods of appreciation to Burns-Thompson for taking up the mantle of defending the pipelines in South Dakota.
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