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Carbon Pipeline Projects in North Iowa, The State Could Face New Hurdle

Companies looking to build pipelines to transport carbon dioxide in liquid form across sections of north Iowa could be facing a new hurdle to moving forward.

Summit Carbon Solutions and Heartland Navigator have both targeted Floyd County and the Valero Renewables ethanol plant just west of Charles City for their carbon pipelines, with Summit also looking at Chickasaw County with the Homeland Energy Solutions ethanol plant between New Hampton and Lawler as its easternmost starting point.

House Republicans appear poised to vote for a year-long moratorium that would prevent the companies planning to build carbon pipelines from seeking eminent domain to seize property along the pipeline routes. Representative Bobby Kaufmann ( R ) of Wilton presented the plan in the House State Government Committee last week and all but one Republican voted for it.

Kaufmann said, “The name on a deed on a piece of paper that makes you a landowner does not subject you to all this government crap. That’s what this is about.”

House Speaker Pat Grassley ® of New Hartford in Butler County, which is also being eyed by Heartland Navigator, said pipeline companies would still be able to negotiate easements with landowners, but this would let the legislature weigh in next year if the companies seek mass condemnation of land. He added that they’re not trying to break agreements for those owners who sign up, because we respect private property rights on both sides.

The proposal is now eligible for debate in the full House.

Summit, which says they continue to negotiate voluntary easements with landowners, issued a statement that reads, “These ongoing interactions demonstrate that the system designed by the legislature and overseen by the Iowa Utilities Board is working and working well. Summit Carbon Solutions looks forward to continuing to work with the members and staff of the Iowa Utilities Board under the current regulatory framework.”

Mark Pitz

News Director/Weekdays 10am to 2pm on 95.9 KCHA
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