North Dakota's Watchdog Update
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Campaign To Demonize Opposition TO CO2 Pipeline Agenda Expands

Campaign To Demonize Opposition TO CO2 Pipeline Agenda Expands

Public funds, appropriated by the legislature to the Industrial Commission, will now flow from state-coffers to promote the CO2, representing an escalation of the propaganda machine.

Audio Alert: click above to listen to last week’s Watchdog Wednesday on AM550 KFYR. I guest hosted for Daryl Lies and had as my guests: Bette Grande (ultra-conservative former legislator and co-founder/CEO of the Roughrider Policy Center), and Scott Skokos (executive director of the left-leaning /liberal Dakota Resource Council). We discuss the CO2 agenda, how a diverse coalition of conservatives and liberal North Dakotans have teamed up on the issue of CO2 pipelines. We also talk about how coalitions are need for effective governance in general, not just on this issue.


The Continued Demonization Of CO2 Pipeline Opponents Ratchets Up

Over the weekend, Fargo media personality Scott Hennen wrote an opinion piece announcing the creation of the Friend of Energy and Ag campaign run by the Freedom Matters USA organization. This is the organization putting on the “Public Information Session” this Wednesday at 6pm in Bismarck.

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Hennen continues to perpetuate the false narrative that anyone against the CO2 pipeline, regardless of their motivation, is representing the left-wing socialist crowd when he writes:

A small but loud group of opponents have dominated the discussion thus far. It reminds me of the opposition movement against the Dakota Access Pipeline. They never let facts get in the way of their scare tactics.

Local opponents have joined the likes of Democrat Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jerry Nadler of New York, Rashida Tliab of Michigan, and eight others who sent a letter to President Joe Biden in October calling for a federal moratorium on CO2 pipelines. Obviously, they have realized they are about to be beat at their own game.

This attempted guilt-by-association of “local opponents” with left-wing social justice types negates the fact that the vast majority of local opponents are motivated by the private property rights and an opposition to eminent domain.

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This group includes business leaders such as Howard Malloy, president of the Bismarck Title Company who is being sued by Summit Carbon Solutions because he won’t let them survey his land.

According to the Bismarck Tribune:

Malloy owns property north of Mandan west of the Missouri River where Summit wants to run its carbon capture pipeline.

His 185 acres is used as farmland now, but he says someday it will become a residential development. With the setbacks needed from the path of the pipeline, that would limit development.

Malloy refused to even allow Summit representatives onto his property.

“I don’t support the pipeline. I don’t want it on my property. Go wherever you want, but stay away from me,” Malloy said. “So, they sued me, and we lost in district court.”

His case, along with several similar cases in which Summit sued landowners over survey access, were lumped together into one proceeding. The North Dakota Supreme Court will hear an appeal of SCS Carbon Transport v. Malloy along with the other cases on Monday.The second largest group off opposition are those concerned about the proximity of the pipeline to the growing-outskirts of Bismarck.

Opposition to the routing of the CO2 Pipeline also includes Chad Wachter (disclosure: a former Watchdog board member), a Bismarck langd developer whose family originally owned what is now all of South Bismarck:

Opposition also includes Dr. John Warford, who is a former Mayor of Bismarck (2006-2014), and was North Dakota’s Committeeman to the Republican Nation Committee from 2000-2004.

These are not wild anti-energy left-wing environmentalist wackos as Hennen tries to portray them. They are local residents who are invested in Bismarck’s history and future.

This is in addition to the Bismarck-Mandan Homebuilders Association taking a firm stance on the route being too close to Bismarck:

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Hennen is just “following the leader” on this demonization as Governor Burgum was quoted in May as saying:

"You can be against the (Summit) pipeline if you’re against coal, you’re against oil and gas, you’re against fertilizer, if you’re against sustainable aviation fuel and you’re against agriculture in general," the governor said. "If you’re against all the things that we do, then you can be against a CO2 pipeline."

Perhaps it is this quote where the name of their campaign “Friends of Energy and Ag is derived.

Prominent conservative agriculture boosters such as Trent Loos are also strongly against the pipeline.

Presidential-candidate Vivek Ramaswamy has taken a strong stance against the Summit Carbon Solutions pipeline as well, on the basis that it is the flagship project of the “climate change hoax agenda”.

Hennen, Burgum, and the “energy industry” wants to demonize everyone who is against the CO2 agenda, and the CO2 pipeline (route or that it will exist at all) just because some of the organizations happen to be liberal or left-wing.

Yes, the Dakota Resource Council did sign a letter asking the Biden Administration to put a halt to this project because it does not do what they want on climate change.

But the conservative Heritage Foundation also explains why conservatives should oppose the tax credits behind this policy.

There are so many reasons for everyone across all the political spectrums to oppose this project or the routing of the project.

As the audio above with Bette Grande and Scott Skokos shows, who we work with politically is based on their position on one particular issue - not their positions on every single issue.


State Seeks To Help Fund Campaign To Promote CO2 Agenda

In a not-widely-publicized move, the North Dakota Industrial Commission (Governor, Attorney General, and Agriculture Commissioner) have announced they are looking to give away $300,000 in the form of a grant for the purposes of “CO2 Marketing” and “Carbon Education”. (Source: Western Dakota Energy Association email newsletter)

Apparently, the companies that stand to make billions off taxpayers, such as Summit Carbon Solutions, cannot afford to “educate” the public on CO2 - and need another direct subsidy from the State of North Dakota.

This amounts to another form of Taxpayer-Funded Lobbying - something conservatives have long opposed. Who will get this grant? Perhaps a certain organization claiming to be the “Friends of Energy and Ag”? Given the recent history of such grants at the state level, this seems to just be par for the course.

Opponents Must Stick To Their Guns

Last year at this time, I wrote and spoke about the growing push for a “North Dakota Green New Deal”. Now we are seeing state dollars being spent in the name of (re)educating the public on carbon. Republican leadership in North Dakota can’t decide if they want to fight against the federal agenda on climate change or help their industry benefactors from profit from it. Republicans want the voters to think they are against this agenda, all while doing everything they can to promote it.

Some of us have been fighting this agenda for well over a decade - if you are one of us, I hope you stick to your guns no matter how much of your tax dollars are used against you.


North Dakota's Watchdog Update
Meet the Media
This section serves as an archive of radio interviews, either with or by Dustin Gawrylow.