Testimony from Members of Republican Legislative Intervenors For Justice Before the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB):
On Tuesday, Senator Sandy Salmon and I testified before the Iowa Utilities Board on behalf of the landowners of Iowa whose sacred private property rights are under assault by CO2 pipeline companies that seek to use the heavy hand of government to seize their land for private economic development purposes.
There is no legal justification for the granting of eminent domain for what is clearly and unequivocally a private economic development project. The request for eminent domain by Summit Carbon Solutions, LLC for their CO2 pipeline project does not meet the Iowa constitutional requirement for public use. Public use includes roads, electric transmission lines, and oil and natural gas pipelines – infrastructure essential for human survival. Shipping CO2 hundreds of miles to be buried underground in another state does not even come close to the public use requirement.
Additionally, this eminent domain request does not satisfy the requirements in the grant of limited authority to the IUB by the Iowa Legislature in Iowa Code Section 479B.9, which states, “A permit shall not be granted to a pipeline company unless the board determines that the proposed services will promote the public convenience and necessity,”– again, this CO2 pipeline project does not even come close to meeting this statutory requirement.
“Freedom and property rights are inseparable. You can’t have one without the other.” President George Washington’s words should reverberate strongly in the ears of Iowa Utilities Board members, freedom-loving Iowans, and most particularly, in the ears of those who seek, through the use of eminent domain, to assault the sacred private property rights of hundreds of landowners in our state.
The Iowa Utilities Board does not have the constitutional or statutory authority to grant eminent domain for these CO2 pipeline projects. The Iowa Utilities Board should follow the requirements in Iowa Code and the Iowa Constitution and disapprove the request for eminent domain by Summit Carbon Solutions, LLC. If these CO2 pipelines are to be built, let them be built using voluntary easements, and not by assaulting the fundamental private property rights of hundreds of Iowans.
Republican Legislative Intervenors For Justice