Brian Jorde Comments on Commodity Issue in SD Supreme Court Carbon Pipeline Case

Brian Jorde Comments on Commodity Issue in SD Supreme Court Carbon Pipeline Case

Last month, Domina Law Group Managing Lawyer Brian Jorde delivered oral arguments before the South Dakota Supreme Court to voice the opposition of landowners who are challenging a proposed carbon capture pipeline from Summit Carbon Solutions.

As we previously discussed on our blog, Jorde’s arguments were delivered as part of an ongoing case pitting South Dakota landowners against Summit Carbon Solutions, the company behind a proposed multi-billion dollar pipeline that would transport ethanol plant emissions in the form of liquified CO2 through over 3,000 miles of pipeline in multiple Midwest states to a permanent underground storage site in Nebraska.

After helping establish the South Dakota Easement team and organizing landowners, Jorde now represents numerous landowners in a legal challenge of Summit Carbon’s ability to obtain permits to access private property and conduct surveys for the construction of its pipeline. The ensuing legal battle eventually resulted in a circuit court finding that Summit Carbon Solutions, as a “common carrier” available to the public, had the right to conduct surveys for its pipeline on private land – a ruling that Jorde helped landowners appeal to the South Dakota Supreme Court.

As reported by KELOLAND TV, a key point of disagreement in Jorde’s oral arguments before the SD Supreme Court was whether or not the carbon dioxide that would be transported through Summit’s pipeline is a commodity. As Jorde argued before the SD Supreme Court Justices:

“It’s absolutely not a commodity. How is this an article for commerce? How is it, it’s not being added to a product for beneficial use.”

While lawyers representing Summit Carbon expressed the opinion that its CO2 was a commodity, Jorde held firm in arguing his landowners’ position and reiterating to the Justices how important their decision in the matter will be in terms of setting a national precedent.

“Their business model, how they’re transporting a commodity on a per-state basis when they’re using it as a term of art to get privileges under this common carriage, that hasn’t been decided by anywhere,” Jorde said. “I mean, you’re going to be, this is going to be the first impression in the country on that issue whether this CO2, heading for permanent sequestration, is in fact a commodity.”

The SD Supreme Court will make a decision on the case in the coming future.

You can watch the full video of Brian Jorde delivering his oral arguments before the SD Supreme Court here.

Brian Jorde and our team at Domina Law have been fighting relentlessly to protect the rights and interests of landowners across the Midwest with properties threatened by several proposed carbon capture pipelines. This includes Navigator CO2 Ventures’ Heartland Greenway Pipeline, a controversial carbon pipeline that would have spanned over 1,3000 miles across Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, and South Dakota if it were not for a legal strategy devised by Brian Jorde proving successful in dealing Navigator a major permitting loss and compelling the company to cancel its project last fall.

Now, in the wake of Jorde leading landowners toward the historic victory against Navigator CO2, he and our team remain committed to helping other affected landowners in the ongoing battle against Summit Carbon Solutions’ Midwest Carbon Express pipeline and another pipeline proposed by Wolf Carbon Solutions. You can learn more about our carbon pipeline litigation work on our blog.