One Year In, Landowners and Activists Protest Eminent Domain for Carbon Pipelines at Iowa Utilities Board Meeting

Summit Carbon Solutions is seeing slow progress on voluntary easements as staunch pipeline opposition mounts.

Published Jul 12, 2022


Food System

Summit Carbon Solutions is seeing slow progress on voluntary easements as staunch pipeline opposition mounts.

Summit Carbon Solutions is seeing slow progress on voluntary easements as staunch pipeline opposition mounts.

This morning, more than 50 impacted landowners and activists from the Iowa Carbon Pipeline Resistance Coalition including Food & Water Watch, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, the Sierra Club Iowa Chapter, and the Science, Environment and Health Network attended the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) monthly meeting in Des Moines to raise concerns about three proposed carbon pipelines. Protesters demanded an end to the threat of eminent domain for carbon pipeline proposals before the Board, and requested a meeting with Governor Reynolds to discuss the projects further. Following the meeting, protestors caravanned to the Governor’s Mansion at Terrace Hill to amplify the demand for Governor Reynolds to put the interests of Iowans before the profits of pipeline companies.

Summit Carbon Solutions’ 2,000 mile hazardous pipeline is currently before the Iowa Utilities Board, drawing expansive opposition surpassing that of the Dakota Access Pipeline. To date, 76% of the Iowa counties impacted by Summit’s proposed pipeline route have submitted formal objections.

Tuesday’s rally marks just over one year since Summit announced their project. The company is seeing slow progress on securing voluntary easements, as impacted landowners resist handing over private property for the project which threatens public health, safety and farmland alike. In fact, Food & Water Action polling found that 80% of Iowa voters oppose eminent domain for the project.

Food & Water Watch Senior Iowa Organizer Emma Schmit said:

“It’s been one year since greedy corporations announced their plans to take our land for their gain. Iowans simply won’t accept eminent domain for private gain, and it’s time our Governor listened to us. We demand a meeting with Governor Reynolds to discuss these projects and make clear that Iowans will not allow carbon pipeline corporations to ram their dangerous schemes through our land, putting us at risk so someone on Wall Street can make a quick buck.”

“We are a year into the Summit project and it’s clear Iowans do not want CO2 pipelines. Land agents call us 20 times a week — worse than telemarketers or a presidential election. We do not want these pipelines destroying our land,” said Sherri Webb, a Summit-impacted owner of a Century Farm in Shelby County

“Navigator is telling landowners one thing, and the IUB and County Supervisors another. We have no way to know the truth,” said Richard McKean, a Navigator-impacted landowner. “It’s a living nightmare.”

“This process is a sham,” said Johnson County Supervisor Jon Green. “The outcome is preordained. I’m here to ensure the record reflects that these carbon pipelines are a greenwashing grift.”

“A year into this project, it’s clear that no one wants carbon pipelines except for those who stand to benefit,” said Sierra Club Iowa Chapter Conservation Program Coordinator Jess Mazour. “70% of landowners won’t sign easements, 34 county boards of supervisors are saying no — Iowa doesn’t want these pipelines. The IUB needs to say no to carbon pipelines now.”

IUB officials have indicated any action or public hearing on Summit’s permit application is not expected before February 2023. Photos from today’s event are available here.

Contact: Phoebe Galt, [email protected]

Press Contact: Phoebe Galt [email protected]