Landowners Protest at IA State Capitol Demanding Senate President Give Eminent Domain Bill A Fair Shot

SF 2160 to stop eminent domain takings for private corporation benefit was removed from its committee assignment Wednesday, at the last minute

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Food System

For Immediate Release

Despite a subcommittee vote on Tuesday to advance SF 2160, legislation to adjust Iowa eminent domain laws, the bill was pulled Wednesday from its scheduled committee hearing. This afternoon, landowners whose property could be seized under eminent domain for the proposed carbon pipelines rallied with advocates from the Iowa Carbon Pipeline Resistance Coalition at the State Capitol, demanding Senate President Jake Chapman reassign the bill to the Ways & Means Committee to give it a fair shot.

The group marched from the West Capitol Terrace to Governor Reynolds office demanding SF 2160 receive a committee hearing this week. Photos and video are available here. Food & Water Watch Senior Iowa Organizer Emma Schmit said:

“Iowa’s elected officials have copped out of protecting Iowans, our land and our communities from eminent domain abuse. It’s outrageous that Gov. Reynolds and our legislature would let private corporations steal land from Iowa’s landowners and farmers for their own private gain. Senate President Jake Chapman must stand up to this nonsense and give this bill a fair shot for a vote. We demand Sen. Chapman reassign SF 2160 to the Senate Ways & Means committee before the week is out.”

“I’ve worked my whole life to steward my land and property, and am not about to let that go without a fight,” said Dan Wahl, Landowner and Farmer from Dickinson County. “What Summit, Navigator and Wolf want to do is nothing short of property theft, and our legislators need to stand up to that nonsense. Landowners and farmers are constituents and voters — our needs cannot be silenced. SF 2160 deserves a fair shot.”

“Corruption is the abuse of power for private gain. Corruption is precisely what we have when government officials — whether the governor or legislators — abuse their power by handing their cronies the right of eminent domain for private gain,” said Carolyn Raffensperger, Science and Environmental Health Network Executive Director. “The only people who gain from blocking eminent domain reform legislation are pipeline companies and the politicians who will get big campaign donations. We stand with the landowners and farmers whose land will be hijacked through eminent domain for a false climate solution unless SF 2160 is passed.

“It’s time for Governor Reynolds to make a decision: will she stand with Iowa’s landowners and everyday folks in opposition to the carbon pipelines, or will she side with the corporate, political elite?” said Tom Mohan, president of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement and Linn Co. resident. “She needs to use her power to protect Iowans and the land we love, not sell us out.”

“What we see before us is a mad rush to push these carbon pipelines on the people of Iowa,” said Mahmud Fitil, Great Plains Action Society. “Pipeline companies and their corrupt state sponsors are engaged in a green-washed scheme to funnel hazardous waste around the region; in effect, trading Iowa’s environment for state & federal tax incentives which drive profits of corporations like Summit and line pockets of people like Bruce Rastetter. We know that when the Earth becomes objectified and commodified then so do we.”

“There is no excuse for the legislature to ignore this looming threat to thousands of everyday Iowans. These carbon pipeline projects are profiting off the exploitation of Iowans, our land, and our communities,” said Jess Mazour, Sierra Club Iowa Chapter. “We expect Governor Reynolds, Senator Chapman, Senator Whitver, and Representative Grassley to put Iowa before these greedy companies and pass the bill.”

“The Capitol in Des Moines is the People’s House. The vast majority of the people in Iowa want, and are entitled to, clear air, clean water and a livable future, and are opposed to the CCS pipelines. The landowners/farmers of Iowa are entitled to have their land protected from eminent domain for private gain. Carbon Capture and Sequestration is a greenwashing scam, designed to perpetuate CAFOs, ethanol production, fossil fuel extraction and to put more money into the hands of those who have already profited mightily from exploiting our natural resources, family farmers, and Iowans,” said Miriam Kashia, 100 Grannies for a Livable Future. “It is time to stop the exploitation and the profiteering and give the power back to the people where it belongs, not the corporations.”

Contact: Phoebe Galt, [email protected]