Brian Jorde Interviewed by The Epoch Times on Summit Carbon’s Foreign Investor, Use of Eminent Domain

Brian Jorde Interviewed by The Epoch Times on Summit Carbon’s Foreign Investor, Use of Eminent Domain

Domina Law Group Managing Lawyer Brian Jorde was recently interviewed by The Epoch Times for an article about the foreign ownership interests backing Summit Carbon Solutions’ controversial Midwest Carbon Express pipeline, and the company’s desire to use eminent domain to access and build on private land.

As reported by The Epoch Times, South Korea-based energy company SK E&S announced in May that it would invest $110 million to acquire a 10% stake in Summit Carbon Solutions. As one of several investors to back Summit in the latest round of funding for its proposed pipeline – which would transport liquified carbon dioxide through 2,000+ miles of pipeline under farms and private properties in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, and North Dakota – SK E&S is also bringing new concerns to an already controversial project.

According to documents recently submitted to the Iowa Public Utilities Commission, that’s because SK E&S is a subsidiary of SK Inc., along with SK Engineering & Construction Co. Ltd., a South Korean company with a not-so-savory track record.

In June 2020, SK pleaded guilty to wire fraud as part of a scheme to fraudulently obtain U.S. Army contracts which involved payments to a U.S. contracting official through a fake Korean construction company and attempts to conceal the payments by submitting false documents to the U.S. government. A DOJ press release noted that SK was ordered to pay $60+ million in criminal fines, $2.6 million in restitution to the U.S. Army, and serve a three-year probation term during which it would not pursue U.S. federal government contracts.

In a separate case from 2018, another SK subsidiary, SK Energy Co. Ltd., was implicated in a decade-long bid-rigging conspiracy involving fuel supply contracts for military bases in South Korea. The DOJ reported that SK Energy and two other South Korean companies pleaded guilty and paid approximately $82 million in criminal fines, plus millions more in separate civil resolutions.

According to many landowners and advocates, news of the troubled foreign financer is just another sign that Summit’s priority is profits, not people or the environment. It’s why hundreds of farm, ranch, and property owners are working with Domina Law to oppose Summit’s attempts to use eminent domain – a right typically reserved for the government and public-use projects – to build its pipeline on private property and enrich itself and its foreign investors.

As Brian Jorde told The Epoch Times:

“It’s all built on a false premise. It’s only for money. It’s one thing if the government is doing it and, the theory is, that it’s for the greater good. But here, this is purely for financial enrichment of a private corporation.”

“Our laws have moved away from public use. The trigger for eminent domain has to be a public use. Some guys just woke up one day and said, ‘Wow, there’s tax credits. Yeehaw! Let’s reverse engineer a business to grab those tax credits. And we take people’s land in the meantime if they don’t want to give it to us. What a great plan.’ I mean, it’s just absolutely outrageous.”

Read the full article featuring quotes from Brian Jorde here.