An environmental group held an online rally on Wednesday in support of a bill in the Iowa Legislature that would block the use of eminent domain to build CO2 pipelines. This is one of a growing number of groups, both Democrat and Republican who are fighting to stop the use of eminent domain and subsequent pipeline construction. Eminent domain allows the government to take control of private land and convert it to public use. Ethanol companies have been promised tax credits if they capture carbon dioxide, a byproduct of making the fuel, and send it to storage sites via pipeline. Three such pipelines are being planned in Iowa. One of those companies, Summit Carbon Solutions Inc. wants the ability to declare eminent domain to take over land planned for their carbon sequestration pipeline.
Brenda Brink, with Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, says one would be built near her Story County property, and she worries about what could happen if the gas pipeline ruptures.
In addition to getting tax credits, pipeline companies say theirs is a safe way to move the gas to storage sites. Senate File 101 is a one-sentence bill that would repeal the state’s eminent-domain authority for hazardous liquid pipelines. The citizens’ group held its online gathering on its website – ‘IowaCCI.org.’
Brink says people have been taught to “stop, drop and roll” when they see anything that resembles smoke. That could include a noxious CO2 gas plume, which, in this case, would be exactly the wrong thing to do, since the gas would displace oxygen at ground level. Brink is also critical of state law that allows the Iowa Utilities Board to impose eminent domain.
In order for Senate File 101 to be considered, it must pass out of committee by March 3rd.