Guest Column: Listening and Following Through by Senate Majority Leader Casey Crabtree

Listening and Following Through
by Senate Majority Leader Casey Crabtree

MADISON–Wednesday was a pivotal day in the debate on forging a path forward to facilitate value-added agriculture’s future in South Dakota. SB 201 gives money to farmers and counties, not out of state trial lawyers and environmental activists who line their pockets by killing value-added ag projects with misinformation and propaganda. I’m standing up on SB 201 to fight for farmers and was joined by ag groups like SD Corn, SD Soybeans, Ethanol Producers Association, the SD Chamber of Commerce and many more.

When South Dakota farmers succeed, all of South Dakota succeeds, and that cuts both ways. When South Dakota farmers have limited access to national and global markets, our whole state suffers. A rising tide lifts all boats, and that’s why I am committed to legislation like SB 201 that fosters a brighter future for all of South Dakota.

I have heard from hundreds of landowners in South Dakota about pipelines and landowner rights. Some of these folks do not want any reforms. Instead, they want to block all progress in South Dakota. The overwhelming majority of South Dakotans see the opportunity that comes with expanding ethanol markets and historic investments like Gevo in Lake Preston. I’ve listened to all sides of the debate, and I’m delivering on my promise to deliver policy reform that promotes respect, fairness, and certainty for all parties involved in infrastructure and value added agriculture.

Last week the Senate also overwhelmingly passed a change in South Dakota law to prevent foreign entities from owning South Dakota ag land. HB 1231 is now on the way to the Governor. Our ag economy and food security belong in the hands of Americans. This bill also prohibits ownership by China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia or Venezuela.

SB 187 is a funding request to help cities and counties support cybersecurity levels. This can help local governments protect citizen information, critical infrastructure and elections by avoiding potential cyber attacks and ransoms. It was good to see this  bill was approved unanimously. Also up in Joint Appropriations on Friday was SB 45 to establish the Center for Quantum Information Science and Technology at Dakota State University. Appropriators also passed this request onward to the Senate floor to be heard in the upcoming week.

On Thursday, the halls of the Capitol were filled with young Bulldogs. The fourth grade “Little Legislators” from Madison Elementary made their annual trip to visit us. Thanks for representing Madison and learning about state government. The pledge of allegiance was as loud as it has ever been in the senate chamber with them joining us from the gallery.  Our state’s future is bright with kids like these!


37 thoughts on “Guest Column: Listening and Following Through by Senate Majority Leader Casey Crabtree”

  1. Casey Crabtree has simply lost his way.

    He openly admits he represents industry, not people.

    He’s embraced the Green New Deal climate change scam.

    He says “rising tides raise all ships.” That’s socialism.

    He’s willing to trample on the Constitution for one project.

    He slanders the very people who elected him. We are not out-of-state trial lawyers or environmental activists. We are not nameless, faceless adversaries. We are South Dakota citizens, landowners, farmers, ranchers, business owners, parents, grandparents, and community members.

    And we don’t want money. We don’t want pity payments. We want our Constitutional God-given rights to be protected.

    Stop with the political games. And do your job.

    NO TO SB 201!

        1. Pressed send before I added my name. This is Amanda Radke, and I’m an independent farmer and rancher in South Dakota. I represent myself only; however, the vast majority of SD citizens are aligned with me on this blatant and gross abuse of power and the fact that this is a complete government grift to enrich very few. I don’t need a cent to state that.

          1. [redacted – pp] The vast majority of landowners clearly support the pipeline- nearly 75% have already signed voluntary easements.

            Veritas, no documentation to prove that contention at this time, so I’m redacting that.

          1. Absolutely, I speak all across the country on ag policy issues, and I read my children’s books in schools across America to teach kids about agriculture. However, this is a voluntary effort on my part after receiving countless calls from impacted landowners. Nobody is paying me to stand up against tyranny in my own backyard.

            1. But for what it’s worth, I was approached by the other side & they would have paid me handsomely to join the team. Some people can’t be bought.

      1. The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.
        – Ronald Reagan

        And Nancy Reagan said, “Just say no.”

    1. Wow, you are ridiculous. “A rising tide raises all ships” is socialism???

      We have two kinds of politicians here, the ones who tell you what you want to hear and the ones who tell you what you need to hear.
      The ones who tell you what you want to hear are making a lot of promises they can’t keep, making eloquent speeches about property rights, local control, the evils of eminent domain, and constitutional rights. They are getting themselves re-elected.
      The ones telling you what you need to hear are the ones talking about how federal law takes precedence, this has already been decided in a federal district court in Iowa, local control goes out the window in matters of interstate commerce, and they are working to minimize your losses, trying get the best deal out of a difficult situation. They are getting things done.

      You can continue to worship at the feet of populist ideologues who deliver nothing but rhetoric, but those idols aren’t golden, they are full of shit…

      1. Actually you are right — there are two types of politicians. Ones who blatantly serve the rich lobbyists who sweep into town and who are willing to embrace the Green New Deal to make a quick buck. And then there are those who aren’t so easily bought, who stand on principle, the Constitution, and protecting the God-given rights of the people. I can sleep at night knowing I’m securely on the right side of history here. But hey, who needs the Constitution if can improve our CI score….

          1. Hey, it’s no 45Q tax credit like the boy boys are grabbing, but it’s an honest way to make a living in the free and fair market. My career and body of work speaks for itself; however, in this effort, I am there by my own choosing, as an unpaid SD landowner, because standing up for private property rights and local government control is the right thing to do; fighting for family farms and ranches is the right thing to do; and calling out this climate change boondoggle for the government grift it is, is the right the to do.

  2. Thank you, Amanda, for shining a light on this issue! A conversation and a handshake have been how we’ve done business in South Dakota for generations. “Your word” was a measure of a person, and character was sacred–often used as credit or collateral, whether borrowing a bull or a buck. South Dakotans value being a good neighbor.

    The last two years have seen a change in the harmony of rural South Dakota, dividing neighbors, farmers, elected officials and friends. One company’s approach to doing business in South Dakota has driven this divide, leading with lawsuits and a lack of respect.

    The sponsor of SB 201, Senator Crabtree, has stated that there have been lengthy discussions with all involved parties. This is not true. A large group of affected landowners, including landowners that these companies have sued, have not been approached, have not been included in drafting bills, and have not had a seat at the table. Because the affected landowners have not been given a chance to be at that table, legislators have commented that they are confused about what the affected landowners want.

    What landowners want is very simple. We support the United States Constitution and believe property rights must be respected and upheld. This is the American Way. This is not about money, pipelines or ethanol. We support a landowner’s right to say “yes,” a pipeline fits my goals. We also support the right to say “no thank you,” this pipeline conflicts with my goals. We support local control that has been in effect and has worked for 135 years. This is also the American Way.

    We support responsible new businesses coming to South Dakota. Responsible businesses show respect for the values of the communities where they want to do business and demonstrate a desire to be a good neighbor. When told “No thank you,” good companies do not respond with badgering, intimidation, bullying and legal action. They do not try to get around existing ordinances of cities, counties and townships through legislative subversion of constitutional rights.

    Carbon dioxide pipelines can be successfully built by following current laws, working with communities and proving to be a good neighbor in the true American Way.

    SB 201 would set a dangerous precedent for South Dakota. We need our legislators to vote “NO” on SB 201 in its current form.

    1. In respect to Ms Steever’s comments at the end of her post, Summit is trying to build the pipeline with existing laws. That’s the point. Eminent domain has been and continues to be legal for common carriers, which carbon pipelines qualify under. Federal laws already preempt state and local setbacks and regulations on interstate pipelines. SB 201 simply recognizes that. It doesn’t create any “new” or different law. Whoever has told you otherwise appears to have lied to you.

    2. Sara, your constitutional rights regarding private property ownership extend only as far as the 5th amendment guarantee of due process and just compensation. That’s it.
      You can hire lawyers and take the issue to court and a judge can decide against you, and that’s your due process.
      You can take the money offered you for the easement, or sell the whole farm to somebody else who will take the money offered for the easement, and that’s your just compensation.

      If somebody is telling you otherwise, they are full of shit.

  3. I wouldn’t use the term “listening” for anything this session. I have never seen a more obvious contradiction to representing the population than the crap pushed through so far this session.

    1. Nobody sane is going to listen to hyperbolic conspiracy theories.

      Compressed CO2 is going to be conveyed by one means or another.
      If you don’t want a pipe 4′ underneath your land perhaps you would prefer a railroad track on top of it.

      South Dakota actually needs more rail service anyway.

          1. Very true, which is why basically everyone supports public sewer systems. Not many people are benefitting from co2 pipelines.

  4. Why is there some speaking circuit gal and a marketing company rep both attacking Crabtree for trying to find middle ground?

    1. Does she still work for Paulson? She is literally going against her clients (SD farmer led industry groups) on this publicly. That’s usually not good for business or job security.

    2. Dear Anonymous,
      I’m a landowner and HB 201 is not a compromise. There is no reason for local control to be taken away, or the PUC’s involvement for that matter, during this process.

      1. You’re right. SB 201 gives landowners numerous protections and counties additional funding, but it doesn’t change the federal law that says federal safety standards preempt state and local setbacks. Sounds like a win for the landowner groups if you ask me!

  5. Let’s get the facts straight. The Feds haven’t ruled in Iowa – not final.

    Federal regulation does not determine nor oversee siting and routing of carbon dioxide pipelines and notes the importance of local government in the process.

    The Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) underscored this in a letter to Summit Carbon Solutions on September 15, 2023:

    “PHMSA continues to support and encourage all three levels of government—federal, state, and local—working collaboratively to ensure the nation’s pipeline systems are constructed and operated in a manner that protects public safety and the environment.”

    “Therefore, the responsibility for siting new carbon dioxide pipelines rests largely with the individual states and counties through which the pipelines will operate and is governed by state and local law.”

    “Each community affected by an existing or proposed pipeline faces unique risks. The effective control and mitigation of such risks involves a combination of measures employed by facility operators, regulatory bodies, community groups, and individual members of the community.”

    “As a pipeline release can impact individuals, businesses, property owners, and the environment, it is important that all stakeholders carefully consider land use and development plans to make risk-informed choices that protect the best interests of the public and the individual parties involved.”

    1. So that PHMSA statement has nothing to do with whether or not the pipelines are going to be constructed; they are going in.
      It doesn’t say states, counties, or municipalities can refuse to have them go through; they are going in.

      What it says is the federal, state & local governments should work together on mitigation.
      That’s what 201 does.

      1. Thank you for making my point. The pipeline can go in within the laws of the three levels of American government and through the land of the people who want it.

        As far as 201 doing that, I don’t see an excerpt here?

          1. Oh I have read the bill and its 10 amendments and listened to all the testimony and debate. Just looking for commenters to back-up their positions with specifics as there are none in this thread.

        1. Sorry, but it is going to go through the land of people who don’t want it. They will get their day in court (due process) and then they will get the money which is owed to them (just compensation.) They will get their constitutional rights. That’s it.
          And the populists who told you what you wanted to hear will get re-elected, which is all they were trying to do in the first place.

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