Oil and gas bills off to a good start – and DRA Lobby Days!


It is noticeably busier here in Pierre! More people around, more legislators on the floor this morning. The session definitely feels more in swing now – and it is GREAT.

Two of the oil and gas bills we’re watching came up in committee today. The House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee heard HB 1001 abd HB 1006, and passed both out unanimously with very little discussion. This is good news – particularly on HB 1001, which requires companies to notify landowners before entering their land even for activities which don’t disturb the surface. Meaning, for things like road building and excavation. HB 1006 aligns South Dakota law with North Dakota law when it comes to claiming mineral rights. HB 1003, the new mediation program, got put off until Thursday. Tim Brown and David Niemi, who came out from Buffalo to testify on the bills, were each given time to talk about the mediation bill, though, and the committee will consider their testimony when SB 1006 comes up.

On the note of testifying on bills…we’re hosting a lobby day (now do you get the picture above – grassroots lobbying?? Its great)! Actually, we’re hosting two:

DRA Lobby DaysCitizen Lobby Trainings: Monday, January 28, 6:00pm and Tuesday, January 29, 6:00pm
Lobby Days: Tuesday, January 29 and Wednesday, January 30

In the past, DRA has hosted one lobby day, usually around our board meeting (which this year is that Tuesday). This year, we decided to expand to two days to allow more people the opportunity to come out and speak with their legislators.

We will tailor our lobbying to the committees that are meeting and to the bills that are up those days. And, we will be working with members to do some general lobbying around the issues DRA is working on, both legislatively and in general. There are a lot of new legislators, and it will be for them to hear about DRAs work in areas we may not be hitting with bills this year.

Please let me know if you are interested in coming out to lobby, and we will help get you set up with carpool, gas assistance, and a place to stay.

Of course, as bills come up we need testimony on that don’t fall on those days, we’ll let our members know and will ask members to come out to Pierre. As usual – we’ll keep you posted!


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