Farmers say Summit Carbon Solutions using ‘intimidation’ while targeting McPherson County land

When you look into the dust-circled, timeworn eyes of farmer Leo Vilhauer, you can see the emotions wearing on him in the moment. When his gaze pointed toward the Summit Carbon survey crews mapping and drilling on his farmland, you can see the disappointment settle in as unhappy wrinkles spread through the rest of his face.

Since at least May 2, Summit Carbon Solutions has been performing surveys on land belonging to landowners listed in eminent domain claims initiated by the company last month. Engineers accompanied by a security detail have been traveling along the planned route for their $4.5 billion Midwest Carbon Express pipeline, 477.91 miles of which runs through South Dakota.

Vilhauer is one of a sizable group of McPherson County landowners opposed to Summit Carbon’s CO2 pipeline project. The county itself is a bastion of anti-carbon sentiment, since about one-third of the Summit’s most recent eminent domain lawsuits involve landowners in the area.