House Republicans appear poised to vote for a year-long moratorium that would prevent the companies planning to build carbon pipelines from seeking eminent domain to seize property along the pipeline routes.
Republican Representative Bobby Kaufmann of Wilton presented the plan in the House State Government Committee and all but one Republican voted for it.
“The name on a deed on a piece of paper that makes you a landowner does not subject you to all this government crap,” Kaufmann said. “That’s what this is about.”
House Speaker Pat Grassley told reporters pipeline companies would still able to negotiate easements with landowners, but this would let the legislature weigh in next year if the companies seek mass condemnation of land.
“There are people that want the project, people that have signed up,” Grassley said after the committee vote. “We’re not trying to break those agreements because we respect private property rights on both sides.”
Democrats on the committee, like Representative Mary Mascher of Iowa City, didn’t object to the moratorium, but to the unusual parliamentary move used to advance the proposal.
“My no vote today is not because I don’t want to address this. I think we need to, but let’s do it in the right way,” Mascher said. “Let’s be transparent with our voters, let’s put it on the agenda…and have an opportunity to hear from all sides.”
Kaufmann said voters don’t care about legislative procedures.
“Nobody should be surprised bu what we’re doing here. Give me a break. We do things all the time to make sure that legislation gets accomplished,” Kaufmann said. “The people back home that are affected…they don’t give a shit about the process. They care about results.”
The proposal is now eligible for debate in the full House.