300 Iowans Rally at State Capitol For Ban on Eminent Domain for Carbon Pipelines

2023 session is make or break for the carbon pipeline threat

Published Feb 21, 2023


Food System

2023 session is make or break for the carbon pipeline threat

2023 session is make or break for the carbon pipeline threat

DES MOINES, IA — Today, 300 landowners impacted by proposed hazardous carbon pipelines rallied at the Capitol alongside legislators and advocates, calling for a ban on eminent domain for the projects.

Twelve bills have been introduced this session in Iowa on the carbon pipeline issue including Senator Taylor’s SF 101 which would enact such a ban. The rally came one day after the introduction of HF 368, which has the support of House leadership including Speaker Grassley, but does not include a full ban on eminent domain. Following a press conference this morning, landowners and advocates attended a subcommittee hearing for HF 368, where the bill was passed out of subcommittee.

Summit, Navigator and Wolf are behind three carbon pipelines proposed to cover 3,650 miles of the Midwest, including 1,590 miles in Iowa. The projects would cross 56 counties and affect tens of thousands of property owners in Iowa alone. Buoyed by substantial federal tax credits and eligible for $40 billion of federal taxpayer funding, these carbon pipelines pose serious safety risks currently under investigation by the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).

Last week, the Iowa Utilities Board established a hearing schedule for the Summit carbon pipeline to begin in October, meaning that the 2023 legislative session is make or break for the carbon pipeline threat. For more than a year, impacted landowners, constituents and advocates have demanded legislative passage of a full ban on eminent domain for carbon pipelines like those proposed by Summit, Navigator and Wolf; a move supported by 70% of Iowa voters, according to Food & Water Action polling

Food & Water Watch Senior Iowa Organizer Emma Schmit said:

“Iowans are making ourselves heard loud and clear: no eminent domain for private gain. From kitchen tables and farm fields to community meetings and the Capitol, our demands could not be more clear. Without a full ban on eminent domain for carbon pipelines, the threat of these unsound, unsafe and unwanted projects remains. State legislators must side with those they represent, not the corporate profiteers looking to make a killing on our backs. There is no acceptable way to take peoples’ land for a carbon capture scam. it’s time to pass a full ban on eminent domain for carbon pipelines.”

“Our legislature created the law that gave the Iowa Utilities Board the power to use eminent domain and the legislature can take it away,” said Kim Junker, Butler County farmer, impacted by the Navigator pipeline proposal. “We, the impacted landowners, are the experts. Not Farm Bureau, not Summit’s lobbyists, not the Iowa Renewable Fuel Association. It’s time our legislators listened to us, the hardworking Iowans who put them into office in the first place. We want a full ban on eminent domain for carbon pipelines — it’s the only solution that permanently addresses all the issues of these needless pipeline projects.”

“We’re glad that leadership has put some thought into HF 368, but it’s simply not what landowners are calling for,” said Cindy Hansen, Century Farm Owner in Shelby County, impacted by the Summit pipeline proposal. “We need a full ban on eminent domain for carbon pipelines. If this threshold bill is going to move forward, it needs some work: it needs to apply to all of the pipeline applications, and it needs to apply to private parcels, not total miles of the route.”

Photos will be available here; press conference recording available here.

Contact: Phoebe Galt, [email protected]

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Press Contact: Phoebe Galt [email protected]