Carbon Pipeline Backlash Is Overwhelming Local Officials

Local officials are dealing with the public outrage related to the proposed CO2 pipeline - but the legislative and statewide officials that talk about "local control" are nowhere to be found.

Burleigh County Planning Commission Holds 5-Hour Long Hearing, Concludes No Matter What They Do They Will Get Sued And The State Will Back The Corporation

When citizens look to the government, they expect the government to be able to represent their interests. People assume that by paying their taxes and being productive members of society their elected officials will listen and do something to protect them.

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Public Health, Eminent Domain, Pipeline Explosions and Summit Carbon's Ruthless Behavior Discussed at Public Meeting
Watch now (97 min) | Concerned citizens showed up in droves at the Burleigh County Commission Meeting (BCCM) Feb 6, 2023 to protest the proposed Summit Carbon Solutions pipelin…
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The proposed Carbon Summit Solutions CO2 pipeline is causing chaos for local governments and local officials, yet state leaders seem to just want to pretend there is no problem and leave local elected officials hanging out to dry.

Case in point, on March 8th, 2023 the Burleigh County Planning Commission, which includes two county commissioners, the mayor of Bismarck, a city commissioner, and members of the public appointed by both commissions held a 5-hour long hearing to discuss how to craft a zoning ordinance.

The short version of this meeting was that:

  1. No matter what Burleigh County does, they will get sued.

  2. Unless the PSC rejects the route, or the legislature passes emergency action that is veto-proof, the project will happen one way or another.

  3. Local governments really don’t have much say in these matters.

The “Local Control” Crowd Is Silent

Whenever there is legislation or a ballot measure that seeks to restrict or control local government on anything like property taxes or extraterritorial zoning there is a predictable refrain from legislators and special interest groups: “LOCAL CONTROL!”

When it comes to this particular issue, there is no support for local control.

All of the elected officials on the Burleigh Planning Commission were elected with more votes than any legislator - but yet, on an issue like the CO2 pipeline there is no movement to give local government a say in the matter - even though they are the ones taking the heat from the public.

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Former Bismarck Mayor, Residents Protest Against Summit Carbon Solutions Pipeline, Ruthless Business Tactics
On November 21, 2022, a number of North Dakota residents gathered during the Burleigh County Commissioners‘ Meeting (BCCM) to discuss their concerns with …
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Legislators Should Watch The Meeting, And Decide If They Like The Way Local Officials Are Left Hanging

Mayor Mike Schmitz, City Commissioner Steve Marquardt, County Commissioner Brian Bitner, County County Commissioner Wayne Munson, and the rest of the Burleigh County Planning Commission should be applauded for sitting through this 5-hour meeting.

Mayor Mike Schmitz specifically says that “the PSC should do its job”.

Perhaps even the PSC is not empowered to do what it needs to do in order to look out for the interests of local citizens.

Every legislator should watch the video, and decide if this is really the one area where they want to reject the call for local control.

If so, local officials should remember this as a lesson learned about how the legislature really only is for local control when they don’t want to take the blame or responsibility for something.

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The elected officials of North and South Dakota believe a handful …
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Voters should recognize how helpless their local officials feel on these issues, and make that sentiment known to their legislators.