Late Thursday evening, the Iowa House of Representatives passed legislation that would impede the approval process of proposed carbon pipelines in Iowa, as an amendment to an appropriations bill, House File 2565. The amendment would enact a moratorium on Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) hearings for carbon capture & storage (CCS) pipelines until February 1, 2023. This legislation would temporarily stop carbon sequestration companies from using eminent domain proceedings to condemn land along the pipeline routes for the length of the moratorium.
Carbon capture & storage is the process of liquefying carbon dioxide for transport and storage underground, though the carbon dioxide can also be used by the fossil fuel industry for enhanced oil recovery or the extraction of coalbed methane. The science behind this fairly new technology is unsound, and CCS pipelines have proved disastrous for communities where problems occur, such as the February 2020 rupture in Satartia, Mississippi. The thousands of miles of carbon pipelines proposed for construction in Iowa by Summit, Navigator, and Wolf/ADM have raised widespread opposition from a broad range of Iowa residents, landowners and organizations opposed to the use of eminent domain for the controversial projects.
The amendment, introduced by Rep. Bobby Kaufmann (R-Cedar), was met with bipartisan support, and passed via a voice vote. HF 2565 subsequently passed by a 60-30 chamber vote.
Food & Water Watch Senior Iowa Organizer Emma Schmit issued the following statement:
“While the House of Representatives was right in taking action to address the proposed carbon pipelines, we know the credit largely goes to the tireless efforts of Iowans who have been relentlessly demanding legislative action on this issue.
“Rep. Kaufmann’s amendment opened the door, and we are now looking to the Senate to strengthen this language to enact permanent measures that protect Iowans from the harms these pipelines cause and the manipulative tactics being employed by pipeline companies. Our rights, our land, and our lives are not for sale.”