Amendment to SB 201 Passes House

An amendment to a highly-followed, controversial bill that would lay the groundwork to advance the Summit Carbon Solutions pipeline allowed it to gain passage through a House Committee Yesterday.

 

That amendment, brought by the bill’s sponsor Rep. Will Mortenson, alters the way that counties would preempt if the bill were to become law. It passed the committee 7-6.

 

Currently, the state’s Public Utilities Commission (PUC) decides whether a pipeline should be permitted, and then separately, decides whether or not that pipeline should supersede local regulations. If the bill is passed as written now, then the PUC would only have to sign off on the

permit in order to preempt local governments.

 

Had that amendment (called Amendment J) not passed, lawmakers on the committee speculated they wouldn’t have voted for the bill under its previous form. Rep. Will

Shorma spoke more on the Amendment.

 

 

Though ethanol plants and Summit Carbon testified in favor of the bill, they expressed concerns about the new form it came in. However, they correctly alluded to the fact that if the bill manages to pass the House, it will be required to go to a conference committee between both chambers, since it passed out of the Senate as a different bill. That means that it is possible the bill could get changed closer back to its original form.

 

Because of the amendment made, SB 201 cannot be heard until Wednesday afternoon on the House floor, at the earliest.