(Fargo, ND) -- A fight is shaping up over the potential use of eminent domain in building a pipeline, which would carry CO2 from 32 ethanol plants in 5 states to an underground storage site near Bismarck.
"Right now what we are doing is having conversations with landowners and we are in the process of negotiating voluntary easements," said Summit Carbon Solution's Director of Public Affairs Jesse Harris. He confirmed the company has filed paperwork with the state, identifying Summit Carbon as a "common carrier", which clears the way for the company to use eminent domain to complete the project. However, State Representative Rick Becker says he intends to push legislation that would effectively block Summit from using eminent domain. Harris says having conversations about eminent domain now is "very premature".
Harris says the company remains committed to using negotiated, "voluntary easements" to complete the pipeline. Harris says so far, 46 percent of property owners in the pipeline's pathway in North Dakota have agreed to "voluntary easements" to allow construction of the pipe on their property.
"So right now, we are at about 1,900 total landowners have signed about 3,100 total easement agreements with Summit Carbon Solutions, so we are making progress everyday. We are signing up new landowners and that process is happening across all 5 states in our project footprint," said Harris.