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The Hancock County Republican Central Committee sent a letter of opposition to the proposed CO2 pipeline projects to the Iowa Utilities Board on Dec. 19. The county committee, which includes the towns of Garner, Britt, Woden, Crystal Lake, Kanawha, Klemme and Goodell, asked the IUB to take four important considerations into account when deciding to grant approval for the project.

“Can you in good conscience say that it is in the public’s best interest? Will you set a precedent of allowing eminent domain to be used for a private project only benefiting a few? Will you further fuel inflation,” the letter asks. “After carefully considering these reasons, it should be clear that a resounding no is the correct answer.”

Eminent domain’s description doesn’t include for private use, the letter argues.

“The proposed CO2 pipeline is not a government project,” it says. “It is a private company trying to install this privately owned pipeline through our county. Will it benefit the general public of our county or for that matter any Iowa county? The answer is no. It will only benefit the bank accounts of a few individuals. It clearly does not meet the standards defined in the Fifth Amendment. Approval granted by the IUB to allow this project to use eminent domain expressly violates the law.”

There will be a strain on EMS services as well due to the increased burden of additional hazardous material training that will be required. The committee is worried about recruiting and retaining volunteer personnel.

“We cannot afford to lose these vital services to our communities,” it states. “Are these private companies willing to pay the cost of full-time staff to meet the needs? Are they willing to pay for all the necessary equipment needed to protect the volunteers in the event of a leak? We highly doubt it.”

With a “colorless, odorless gas pressurized,” the committee says there is “extreme risk” involved.

CO2 is used for daily life. Recent shortages have caused area establishments to post “not available due to CO2 shortage,” according to the committee’s letter.

“Why take a product already in short supply and dump it in a big underground cavern in a state miles away,” it asks. “This will only further fuel inflation of any product which uses it. We cannot afford further inflation.”

New EPA guidelines allow ethanol facilities to capture their CO2 and convert it to other marketable products on-site.

“This makes far more sense with far less risk to the general public,” the letter states. “This is where our tax dollars should be directed, not into an unnecessary dangerous pipeline.”

The fourth concern involved is drainage issues.

“We have several drainage districts in our county. A tile collapse of one of these county tile lines could affect several other neighboring farms,” the letter states. “People who got nothing in return for this project could lose crops. How will they be compensated? Will the CO2 pipeline company be there with their checkbook then? We seriously doubt it.”


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