State Representative Bobby Kaufmann today announced his decision not to consider legislation during the 2022 Legislative Session related to eminent domain, as current carbon capture pipeline projects are actively working with landowners in Iowa. Kaufmann will work with industry regulators and members of the Iowa Legislature to look at what changes may be necessary in the future to ensure Iowans’ property rights are protected through any future projects in Iowa. Kaufmann offered the following statement on the decision.
“After careful thought, I have determined that now is not the right time to make changes in the current process while two carbon capture pipeline projects have already signed up hundreds of willing landowner participants and continue to negotiate voluntary easements. Changing the rules on the use of eminent domain would send the wrong message to potential supporters in Iowa, who are necessary for these projects to follow through on their commitments to landowners. They need to have confidence that Iowa is a great place to do business and that you can count on a stable legal, regulatory, and tax structure.
This has always been and remains an issue I am passionate about. What we need long-term is legislation that makes Iowa a great place to do business and innovate, while ensuring the property rights of Iowans are protected. To do this properly and pass meaningful legislation on this issue will not happen overnight and it would be inadvisable to rush it. In the meantime, I remain confident that the developers of these projects will continue to work cooperatively with landowners before considering the use of eminent domain.”