And so it begins!

Hello DRA members (and other readers of course)! I am a community organizer and lobbyist for Dakota Rural Action, and I will be updating this blog each day of the session. Bills, meetings, speeches, announcements – they’ll all be right here, on this blog. A lot happens during the legislative session, and we are not tracking everything. But we are tracking bills and issues that directly affect our members and our rural way of life.

To start, my first few posts will give you a quick run-down of some of the issues we here at DRA are following this session. Feel free to comment if you have any input. We definitely want to know what you think. First up – oil and gas.

Issue 1: Oil/gas legislation

In 2012, both the governors office and the legislature conducted studies of South Dakota’s potential for oil and gas development. You can read the governor’s office report here and the minutes from the legislative study here. Each study concluded that it is unlikely for South Dakota to see any development on the scale of North Dakota. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have oil and gas companies working here, or that we aren’t feeling the effects of such development.

As a result of these studies, the Board of Minerals and Environment at the DENR is proposing several rules which would require disclosure of chemicals in fracking and some great new rules on interim oil/gas well reclamation. You can read the rules here. Additionally, the legislature is considering several bills that address everything from claiming your mineral rights to rising the bond on oil and gas wells. The bills, titles, and links are below:

HB 1001: require mineral developers to give notice to surface owners before entering the land.
HB 1002: provide for the creation of a trust account for unlocatable mineral interest owners.

HB 1003: provide for mediation between mineral developers and surface owners in certain disputes over surface depredation and to provide for mediation of mineral fee disputes.
HB 1004: provide for the award of treble damages in certain surface depredation cases.
HB 1005: require certain posting of information if hydraulic fracture stimulation is performed on oil and gas wells.
HB 1006: revise certain provisions relating to the termination of certain mineral interests.
SB 1: revise the provisions regarding plugging and performance bonds for oil and gas wells and to repeal the supplemental restoration bond requirement.
SB 2: provide funding for unresolved surface depredation caused by oil and gas exploration and to make an appropriation therefor.
SB 20: revise the purpose of the agriculture mediation program.
SB 59: prohibit the disposal of certain oil and gas field wastes.

There may be other legislation proposed throughout the session. Our general stance is that we support legislation that protects landowner rights and preserves South Dakota’s rural way of life. In the next week we will be talking with members to take a specific stance on each bill, and to consider any amendments that need to be made.

If you have any input on these bills, please contact me – sabrina@dakotarural.org, or call at 605-939-0527.

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Comments

  1. Karen Englehart says:

    Nice site, I put it on my favorites so I can stay totally informed……

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