Recent polling showed the vast majority of Iowans oppose the use of eminent domain for CO2 pipelines, yet lawmakers appear to have a different opinion.
Last week, Iowa House lawmakers passed a bill that would obligate that CO2 pipeline operators obtain voluntary easements from landowners for 90% of the pipeline route before they can exercise eminent domain.
Now, the bill called House File 565, passed 73-20, has moved to the Iowa Senate, where the decision remains unclear.
Meanwhile, however, Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll conducted prior to the bill demonstrates that almost 80% of Iowa residents are opposed to allowing private companies to eminent domain for carbon pipelines.
Gov. Kim Reynolds, whose decision to sign the bill has already been questioned publicly by lawmakers, said that she had already discussed the matter with House leaders.
Previously, Reynolds had voiced her strong support for carbon capture projects and CO2 pipelines and said that the budding sector is vital for Iowa’s ethanol industry.
Relevant: Iowa Shuts Down Restriction On Eminent Domain For CO2 Pipelines
In that regard, she did mention that she would consider certain changes to the eminent domain process.
Currently, three carbon pipeline projects set to pass through are underway, led by Wolf Cabron Solutions, Navigator CO2, and Summit Carbon Solutions.
The latter two are seeking authority to exercise eminent domain from the Iowa Utilities Board, whereas Wolf Carbon Solutions has announced it will not be seeking eminent domain authority for its smaller carbon pipeline project.
Both Summit and Navigator, on the other hand, are slowly but surely making advancements in obtaining voluntary easements, where Summit announced just last week that it has already gotten such easements for 70% of the proposed pipeline route.
Read more: New Study: Iowa Ethanol Production Dependent On Carbon Pipelines