BISMARCK – Three bills limiting eminent domain failed in the North Dakota State Senate Thursday.
Senate Bill 2212 initially sought to remove the right of eminent domain for carbon dioxide pipelines. The sponsor of the bill, Sen. Jeff Magrum, R-Dis. 8, Hazleton, attempted to amend his bill on the floor to instead require a 1,000 foot setback for carbon pipelines from a citizen’s land. Both the amendment and bill failed.
Senate Bill 2209 initially sought to require 85% consent from landowners affected by a carbon pipeline project, and Magrum, the sponsor, amended it to 75%. Both the amendment and bill failed.
Senate Bill 2314 would have required the North Dakota public service commission to approve the use of eminent domain after a public hearing is held in every impacted county for any common carrier pipeline. It would also require 85% consent from impacted landowners and allow each county to increase that percentage up to 100% consent. SB2314 also failed.
“I’m not against the coal industry,” said Magrum. “But I have to defend the people’s land first. That’s my oath, land over industry. Do I want industry? Of course, but there has to be a balance. We have to look out for our people, and we also need the money from the industry to turn the lights on. But we can’t neglect our people for industry.”
“When we look at these types of bills, we do have to look at the big picture,” said Sen. David Hogue, R-Dis. 38, Minot. “We’re the board of directors for the state of North Dakota and we have to try to make good policy on behalf of all of the people of North Dakota. Personally, I’m not crazy about this project myself. Our family does have three quarters of land of which this project does want to come through. I’d rather that they didn’t. But on the other hand, I realize that this is a project that’s good for North Dakota.”