A Pipeline Predicament

Jul 19, 2022

There’s a pipeline predicament in Iowa, and people aren’t happy about three proposed liquid carbon pipelines that would span more than 1,500 miles across the Hawkeye state.

A week ago, those against the pipelines attended the three-member Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) meeting to voice their concerns. Members have declined to comment on how they will side on eminent domain requests. And everyone knows you don’t build something like this *without eminent domain.*

Pipeline permits. Summit Carbon Solutions has secured agreements with landowners for 40% of its 680-mile Iowa route. The IUB will not hold hearings for the Summit permit until they’re also provided with a list of properties that will need to be acquired via eminent domain. The only way to approve eminent domain is by providing a solid list of public benefits from the pipeline.

Pro-pipeliners argue the pipelines would reduce greenhouse gas emissions from ethanol plants, making ethanol more viable long-term. But opponents aren’t buying this, citing the Benjamins that pipeline companies will earn via federal tax incentives for carbon dioxide sequestered.

Meetings set. The IUB set meetings for landowners in Cedar, Clinton, Johnson, Linn, and Scott Counties for late August. These counties would be impacted by the pipeline Wolf Carbon Solutions plans to lay from Cedar Rapids to Clinton.

Soundbite: “It’s not safe. Nobody can guarantee that this won’t explode. It’s not like if it’s going to happen but where it’s going to happen and how are they going to handle it?” said farmer Sherri Webb of Shelby County.