SD Landowners Facing Eminent Domain Lawsuits

Farmers in South Dakota are on the front lines of a fight to defend their private property rights. Land-grabbing carbon capture pipelines are proposed throughout the Corn Belt, and Summit Carbon Solutions, one of the companies taking advantage of billions in federal subsidies, has filed eminent domain lawsuits against more than 80 South Dakota farmers.

Rita Brownlee is one of those farmers. She and fellow property owner Wendy Schulz join The New American senior editor Rebecca Terrell to describe their plight.

These land and businesses owners in Watertown, South Dakota, are outraged over the potential loss of their property rights. Their city has even granted an easement to Summit.

Brownlee and Schulz are also concerned about how close to town these pipelines will be placed if approved. The rupture of a pipeline in Mississippi several years ago evacuated an entire town, and first responders said the devastation spread as far as nine miles. It caused life-threatening situations, and residents there still live with debilitating residual effects.

As for help from elected officials, Rita Brownlee relates that her husband, Randy, called South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem’s office on June 9 after receiving Summit’s condemnation notice. The staffer he spoke with claimed that the governor could do nothing to help on a legal basis. He asked, “If not legally, how about ethically?” The staffer said she would get back with him but did not follow up. He called back on June 20 to ask again for the governor’s help, but this time, the staffer hung up on him.

South Dakota land owners have teamed up to form a group, and you can find out their latest news at There is a petition they encourage all Americans to sign in defense of God-given and Constitutionally-protected property rights.

Related stories:

Foreign Investors Behind Carbon-Capture Schemes

South Dakota Farmers Face Carbon-Capture Land Theft

South Dakota Battles Carbon Capture Pipelines

South Dakotans Battle CCS Pipeline