Senate leader berates PUC voter over Summit Carbon Solution decision

Sen. Schoenbeck sent texts to Treasurer Josh Haeder criticizing his vote on the Summit pipeline

South Dakota’s highest-ranking state Senator is not happy about a decision by the state’s Public Utilities Commission to deny a permit to Summit Carbon Solutions, and he let at least one of the state officials who stood in the way of the project hear about it.

Disclosures by the Public Utilities Commission made Thursday relating to the carbon sequestration pipeline company’s hearing last month before the PUC revealed correspondence between Senate President Pro Tempore Lee Schoenbeck and South Dakota Treasurer Josh Haeder that took a heated turn.

In a series of text messages between the two on Sept. 14, three days after Summit’s route permit was unanimously rejected by the PUC, the Watertown Republican accused Haeder of being anti-ethanol and said that he was no longer a friend.

“U anti ethanol (SIC) people need to be out of public office. Bad for South Dakota,” Schoenbeck wrote before adding in a follow-up message, “Don’t call me friend. My friends have spines.”