The Iowa Senate unanimously voted down the proposal to restrict the use of eminent domain, including for CO2 pipelines.
The bill was opposed by both landowners and pipeline project developers alike and was voted down by all three members of the Senate subcommittee.
In doing so, one of the subcommittee members, Sen. Jason Schultz, expressed his doubts that any such bill will ever make it to the Iowa Legislature this session.
The bill titled Senate File 346 proposed that CO2 and other pipeline developers would need to obtain voluntary easements for at least two thirds of the length of their route before regulators can grant them eminent domain authority.
Companies would have also been prevented from getting in touch with landowners for easement acquisitions unless they have first received consent from the landowner.
Another noteworthy proposal in the bill has to do with increasing land restoration standards whenever the use of eminent domain is applied.
However, the restrictions detailed in Senate File 346 would not be valid for companies that have already had their first permit hearing, meaning that all three of pipeline operators that have filed for CO2 pipeline projects in Iowa would be exempt from it.
The three companies are Navigator CO2, Summit Carbon Solutions and Wolf Carbon Solutions, of which only the third has explicitly stated in its application that it does not wish to exercise eminent domain.
The bill was met with opposition from utilities and pipeline companies, but even those against CO2 pipelines did not approve of the legislative proposal, albeit for different reasons.
On one hand, pipeline operators and utilities claimed the bill to be far too burdensome, while pipeline opponents, on the other hand, said the restrictions were insufficient and believe that the above three companies should not be exempted from them.