Public Hearing on Use of Eminent Domain for Carbon Pipelines Draws Widespread Opposition

Legislators, landowners, advocates and experts added their voices to the mounting anti-pipeline movement

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Food System

For Immediate Release

On Tuesday, legislators, landowners, advocates and experts from the mounting anti-pipeline movement staged a public hearing on the use of eminent domain for the controversial carbon pipelines proposed for Iowa. More than 150 people attended the hearing in person, with more than 90 additional viewers online, including impacted landowners, County Supervisors, State Senators and Representatives, and activists representing bipartisan opposition.

Citing widespread opposition from all corners of the state, speakers urged rapid legislative action to ban the use of eminent domain takings for the carbon pipeline projects. As the Summit Carbon Solutions pipeline moves into Iowa Utilities Board permitting, the threat of private land takings only increases: Recent news revealed that Summit Carbon Solutions has less than 2% of their proposed route secured via voluntary easements.

The event came on the heels of the House’s passage of House File 2565, with amendments from Rep. Kaufmann (R-Cedar) to establish a 12-month moratorium on eminent domain takings for the dangerous carbon pipeline projects. Legislators, landowners, advocates and experts are calling for additional amendments to make the ban on eminent domain takings permanent. Food & Water Watch Senior Iowa Organizer Emma Schmit said:

“Carbon capture is a costly false solution to our climate crisis, and the pipelines that support it spell danger for our communities. Until our legislature removes the legal ability for corporations to capture private land for dangerous carbon pipeline projects, Iowans will continue to live under threat of eminent domain takings for these unwanted projects. Governor Reynolds and legislative leadership must commit to passing legislation this session that permanently removes the threat of eminent domain takings for carbon pipelines. With less than a month remaining in session, it’s time to put this issue to bed.”

“A one-year delay on CO2 pipelines might sound like a good idea on the surface, but HF 2565 looks more like a political game to protect politicians during an election year,” said Julie Duhn of Eldora and member of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement. “Lawmakers need to get serious about this. They need to stand up for farmers and against this destruction of our land for private gain. We don’t need a bait and switch, we need actual leadership from our legislators and more than just lip service to our agricultural tradition.”

“Legislation to postpone eminent domain takings until next year kicks the can down the road. Pressure is already increasing on reluctant landowners to voluntarily sign carbon pipeline easements, with eminent domain framed to us as ‘inevitable,’” said George Cummins, of Vinton, retired agronomist and former director of the Floyd County Iowa State University Extension Office. “As voters, it is our responsibility to hold our elected officials accountable — and we will, both now and at the ballot box, demanding that eminent domain never be used for these unwanted carbon pipelines.”

Contact: Phoebe Galt, [email protected]