SB 201 referral becomes South Dakota’s latest fight

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — If all goes the way that opponents want, South Dakota voters will get the final word this fall on how carbon-dioxide pipelines and other transmission facilities should be governed in the state.

Opponents believe they have gathered enough signatures to force SB201 onto the November election ballot. They announced on Monday that they intend to hand-deliver their petitions at 4 p.m. today to the Secretary of State office. (NOTE: The petitions actually were delivered on Monday afternoon, but a rally still occurred Tuesday. See related story.) They need at least 17,508 valid signatures of registered South Dakota voters to make it the 13th statewide referral since 1972.

The complex legislation took various twists and turns on its way to the desk of Governor Kristi Noem, who signed the final version into law. The Senate had approved its version on a vote of 23-11; the House of Representatives passed a different version on a 40-30 vote; and the compromise that was reached in a Senate-House conference committee received final approval by votes of 24-10 in the Senate and 39-31 in the House.

That came after the state Public Utilities Commission last year denied CO2-pipeline permit applications from two companies. Opponents held a rally at the Capitol and formed the South Dakota Property Rights and Local Control Alliance.

The sharp divide carried forward into the Republican legislative primaries, with opponents of SB201 taking out many of the legislation’s supporters.

Here’s a look at referral outcomes from the past 50 years.