Summit Plans to File For Eminent Domain Against Landowners on 60% of IA Carbon Pipeline Route

80% of Iowa voters oppose eminent domain for carbon pipelines

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Climate and Energy

For Immediate Release

Today, Summit Carbon Solutions announced plans to begin filing for eminent domain against landowners. The pipeline corporation claims it has obtained “voluntary” easements from only 40% of landowners, meaning 60% of the route would require land condemnation through the use of eminent domain for the project to break ground. Until Summit files Exhibit H with the Iowa Utilities Board, these numbers remain estimates.

After more than a year of harassment to secure voluntary easements with Iowa landowners, Summit has failed to leverage substantial political contributions and funds spent on lobbying to their benefit. Iowans remain steadfastly opposed to the use of eminent domain for carbon pipelines, with April Food & Water Action polling finding that 80% of Iowans oppose eminent domain for the projects.

The Sierra Club’s attorney Wally Taylor has filed multiple requests regarding Exhibit H and transparency, available here.

“This is going to do very little in the way of addressing climate change or saving the ethanol industry. It’s going to do a lot of huge damage but the pipeline companies will make a lot of money in the process. I don’t care what the dollar amount is — I’m not signing an easement,” said Jean Granger, Floyd County impacted landowner. “I will stand with thousands of landowners across the midwest who are refusing to sign easements. Why should they have the right to steamroll Iowa’s farmers to enrich their pockets?” 

“Summit showed their true colors today,” said Food & Water Watch Senior Iowa Organizer Emma Schmit. “For more than a year, landowners and activists have joined together to stand up to corporate greed and stand up for the will of the people. We fight because we believe in a better Iowa and a better future that supports people, not corporations. Summit may seek eminent domain but is our public institutions, accountable to the people, that will be responsible for the final decision. And we won’t stop fighting. Governor Reynolds, listen to your constituents — stop Summit’s land grab. The IUB must say no to carbon pipelines.”

“Summit has had nearly a year to harass Iowans and buy support from influential politicians, yet they are doing poorly. It shows that this is not a viable project. The Iowa Utilities Board is allowing Summit to continue by giving them the time and means necessary to bully people into signing. The IUB needs to put us before the pipeline companies,” said Jess Mazour, Sierra Club Iowa Chapter, Conservation Program Coordinator.

Summit’s allegations of only having 40% of the route it wants to build its experimental hazardous pipeline is a shockingly low number after the tens of millions of dollars it has spent and after the lobbying efforts and backroom deals compromising Iowa politicians. Their announcement is underwhelming and shows where the vast majority of Iowans are on this taxpayer funded land grab — solidly opposed. Eminent domain for this foreign owned proposed hazardous pipeline must not be allowed,” said Brian Jorde, Lawyer representing landowners in Iowa and other carbon pipeline impacted states.

Contact: Phoebe Galt, [email protected]