A temporary moratorium on the use of eminent domain to seize property along carbon pipeline routes passed the House in March, but it was never considered in the Iowa Senate.

The plan would have prevented pipeline developers from filing an application with the Iowa Utilities Board before February 1, 2023, in order to acquire land where property owners are refusing to grant access. Representative Bruce Hunter, a Democrat from Des Moines, suggested lawmakers played a type of shell game with Iowans who wanted some assurances their land won’t be seized against their wishes.

“We didn’t do anything for the farmers on this pipeline issue,” Hunter said. “Look what we’ve done: beat our chest and then con ’em.”

Republican Representative Bobby Kaufmann of Wilton said the mere threat of a moratorium got pipeline developers to assure him they won’t seek eminent domain authority until next March.

“We sent a message that we’re willing to act if property rights are attempted to be infringed on,” Kaufmann said.

And Kaufmann said state utility regulators have also told him their review of any eminent domain requests for carbon pipelines won’t start until after the 2023 legislature convenes.