A northwest Iowa lawmaker says the legislature should act to protect the private property rights of Iowans who do not want a carbon pipeline to cut through their land.
Representative Steven Hansen of Sioux City said developers stand to reap millions of dollars from these proposed pipelines.
“Without federal incentives, we wouldn’t be talking about these pipelines, so there’s going to be winners and there’s going to be losers, but it should be our landowners,” Hansen said this morning during a brief speech on the House floor.
Hansen noted the Woodbury and Plymouth County Boards of Supervisors are opposed to the state granting eminent domain — so developers can acquire land from property owners who haven’t agreed to easements for the pipelines.
“For all the talk about different rights, I don’t know what is probably more important than the right to do what you want to with your land,” Hansen said. “And I think that’s a bipartisan agreement.”
Hansen, a Democrat, said legislators shouldn’t defer to the Iowa Utilities Board on the decision for granting eminent domain for the carbon pipelines. Republican Representative Bobby Kaufmann has tabled his plan to require that at least 70 to 75 percent of landowners sign pipeline easements before the Utilities Board could grant developers eminent domain authority to land along the rest of the route. Kaufmann said other recent utility projects in Iowa have been successful in offering landowners enough money that eminent domain has not been used.