Upcoming 2013 South Dakota legislative session will focus on oil - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Upcoming 2013 South Dakota legislative session will focus on oil development issues

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State lawmakers are getting ready to head back to Pierre to discuss the issues affecting the people of South Dakota.

The 88th legislative session starts Tuesday.

KSFY News met one local lawmaker about an issue in the state's future, oil.

The future of oil in South Dakota is now.

We met state representative Roger Solum, (R)-Codington County, who said we can learn from North Dakota's oil boom.

"we want to make sure that we're out front on this development and that we do it in a safe and logical manner. not only for the protection of the environment but also to encourage those developers to come into western South Dakota and have a look around," Rep. Solum said.

But the excitement of oil development doesn't come without concern. Several bills to be discussed in the upcoming legislative session focus on protecting the environment and addressing those concerns.

"Obviously, when you start an oil well development, there's hundreds of semi-trucks that need to come in to drill pipe and all of the other supplies to support that drilling operation. There is some concern by the local counties and townships," Rep. Solum said.

Solum said some of the bills are like housekeeping legislation to clean up some issues with the state's statutes.

"We're making sure that those mineral rights holders are considered along with the possibility of maybe returning some of those mineral rights owners to surface property or landowners," Rep. Solum said.

How much of a role oil plays in our future is yet to be seen but state lawmakers have crafted legislation from lessons learned by our neighbors to the north.

Solum said right now, we're pumping just a little more than a million gallons a year here in South Dakota.

That's a drop in the bucket compared to North Dakota, which can pump a million gallons in three days.

He said we may not see large numbers of revenue, but there's still money to be made for the state.

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