Lawmakers draft oil development legislation - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Lawmakers draft oil development legislation

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Lawmakers from across South Dakota are headed to Pierre, Tuesday, for the kick-off of the 88th Legislative Session.

A number of issues are on the table this year from educating funding to oil development.

Oil could play a key role in the state's future economic development and lawmakers are focusing on finding solutions before they become a problem.

Will oil become a money-maker for the state of South Dakota as it is in North Dakota? Time will tell. In the meantime, several bills have been crafted to protect the environment as well as the rights and financial interests of landowners and their heirs.

State Representative Roger Solum is the chair of the Commerce and Energy Committee, we caught up with him in Watertown before he heads to Pierre.

We asked him why the state is focusing on this legislation now.

"The development of oil and gas in western south Dakota in Harding and Perkins counties. What we wanted to do is make sure we took a step out and look forward to the future and try to offset some of these issues that may be facing western south Dakota," Rep. Solum said.

This may seem like a west river issue to some people but Solum says the potential revenue oil development could bring to the state would benefit all of us.

Solum says the Commerce and Energy Committee also met with people in the communities where oil development might take place to hear their concerns.

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