North Dakota House kills remaining CO2 pipeline bills

Source: By Jack Dura, The Bismarck Tribune • Posted: Wednesday, March 29, 2023

The North Dakota House of Representatives on Tuesday killed the remaining bills proposed by a state lawmaker seeking to bolster private property rights in connection with carbon dioxide pipelines.

Sen. Jeff Magrum, R-Hazelton, brought several bills dealing with CO2 pipelines and eminent domain — the seizure of private property rights against a landowner’s wishes — in response to Summit Carbon Solutions’ proposed CO2 pipeline that is being reviewed by the North Dakota Public Service Commission.

Senate Bill 2251 failed in a 46-46 vote. It sought to require survey crews to get written consent from landowners or a court order before entering their property. The bill needed 48 votes to pass.

Rep. Dick Anderson, R-Willow City, said preliminary surveys result in minimal intrusion, and no private property rights are taken, with no damage to property. The bill also might result in expensive and lengthy court delays during a short construction season, he said.

Supporters said the bill responds to landowners’ concerns and would strengthen their property rights.

Senate Bill 2313 failed 40-51. It was for an optional interim 2023-24 legislative study of “fair and just compensation in all eminent domain proceedings.”

Eminent domain involves taking private property for use even if a landowner opposes such an action, but the landowner is still compensated.

Anderson said the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee felt a study wasn’t needed “as it would add nothing new to the discussion of eminent domain” due to court cases that have already established rules and guidelines.

Supporters said the issue is one worthy of study and important to their constituents.

Some landowners along the route of Summit’s proposed Midwest Carbon Express pipeline worry that the company will resort to eminent domain. Summit says it is focusing on obtaining voluntary easements.

The pipeline would cross 2,000 miles through Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, Minnesota and North Dakota, transporting climate-warming CO2 emissions from Midwestern ethanol plants to Oliver County northwest of Bismarck, where they would be injected and stored underground.

Magrum proposed 25 bills this session, the most of any North Dakota lawmaker in 2023.

Reach Jack Dura at 701-223-8482 or