Brian Jorde Delivers Oral Arguments Before S.D. Supreme Court in Summit Carbon Pipeline Case

Brian Jorde Delivers Oral Arguments Before S.D. Supreme Court in Summit Carbon Pipeline Case

On Tuesday, March 19th, Domina Law Group Managing Lawyer Brian Jorde appeared before the South Dakota Supreme Court to deliver oral arguments on behalf of landowners who oppose a carbon capture pipeline proposed by Summit Carbon Solutions.

As reported by The Dakota Scout, Jorde appeared before S.D. Supreme Court Justices at the Northern State University’s Johnson Fine Arts Center, which hosted a two-day event during which the Court heard seven cases for its March term.

Jorde’s argument focused on how property owners in the pipeline case – which consolidates several lawsuits involving Summit and South Dakota landowners – disagree with findings from the 2nd and 5th judicial circuit allowing Summit to conduct surveys on land without first obtaining permission. Specifically, he contended that South Dakota’s land survey law is unconstitutional because it “allows and authorizes a physical taking against the will of a property owner,” and strips landowners of their right to exclude, one of the most treasured rights of property ownership.

VIDEO: You can view Brian Jorde delivering his oral arguments before the South Dakota Supreme Court here.

The case before the South Dakota Supreme Court is the latest legal development in a multi-year dispute over Summit Carbon’s proposed Midwest Carbon Express, a multi-billion-dollar pipeline that would capture carbon emissions from ethanol plants and transport them in the form of liquified CO2 through 3,000 miles of pipeline in multiple states before terminating in Nebraska.

Jorde, who represents landowners across the Midwest and who helped establish the South Dakota Easement Team to unite landowners throughout multiple South Dakota counties where pipeline construction has been proposed, has staunchly represented landowners’ interests in raising challenges against the pipeline. These challenges not only over concerns about potential impacts on land and natural resources, but also landowners’ opposition to Summit’s attempts to use eminent domain – a right typically reserved for the government and public use projects – to gain access to private property and construct its pipeline.

Jorde and our firm’s latest efforts against Summit Carbon Solutions in South Dakota also come on the heels of an historic victory last fall in which a legal strategy devised by Jorde proved successful in quashing the Heartland Greenway Pipeline, a controversial carbon capture pipeline from Navigator CO2 Ventures that would have spanned over 1,300 miles across Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, and South Dakota.

In the Heartland case, Jorde successfully led landowners in challenging permit applications submitted by Navigator in South Dakota and other states along the pipeline’s proposed path – efforts that ultimately led to the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission denying the company a construction permit and Navigator subsequently withdrawing permit applications and cancelling its project.

Jorde, Domina Law Continue Fight for Midwest Landowners

Following the victory against Navigator CO2, Brian Jorde and Domina Law Group remain committed to helping Midwest landowners in ongoing efforts against Summit Carbon Solutions’ Midwest Carbon Express and another carbon capture pipeline proposed by Wolf Carbon Solution.

These pipelines, which would funnel liquified carbon dioxide through thousands of miles of underground pipes so they can be sequestered underground, have been widely opposed by farmers, ranchers, and property owners who are battling to protect their property rights and prevent private pipeline companies from accessing and building on their land without permission.

You can learn more about our pipeline litigation work and the latest legal developments on our blog.