Iowa Farmers Speak Out Against Sneaky Pipeline Proposals
On Tuesday, farmers, legislators, and activists joined together to call for a more permanent solution when it comes to the issue of eminent domain.
This request comes after an amendment passed through the house that would block pipeline companies from using eminent domain until March 1, 2023. Lawmakers say that pushing the issue off for a year, gives developers the time to discuss offers with landowners.
However, some people think this isn’t enough to help those affected by the pipeline. Steve Kenkel is a county supervisor for Shelby County. He also is a farmer. While his operation is not directly impacted by the pipeline, he says that the pipeline does impact him and his elected role.
I'm here because I think the process is flawed. It’s flawed, and that’s the reason I’m here. Our board, we take the deposition because there's been no public input, nothing at the local level, that it's up the property owners to decide the feet and where this goes. Okay, and I'm here to fight for that
Shelby County is one of 28 counties that will be affected by the Summit pipeline. Kenkel says that are many people that are unaware they are going to be directly impacted by it.
These people, the city council, the mayor; weren't even notified that there was a hazardous pipeline coming here. We have people that have been asking if its in their own backyard. They didn't even know about it again, because there have been no public hearings. So, I'm gonna start with my first question: why is the transparency of local control being bypassed for hazardous pipelines in Iowa?
He says that when it came to the pipeline, there was no board of supervisors that met to approve or disapprove, which is typically the process when it comes to projects with a public purpose.
Windmills, solar farms- they serve a public purpose. And guess what they're brought to you for your consensus. The board has to approve it before it can even go into the land... Animal confinements- in my book, and you might get some debate out there. That doesn't serve a public purpose like the first few I said, okay, but they're out there. We have to live with it. Guess what? We hold public hearings. We get input.
There are currently three pipeline projects that are planned to go through Iowa. Kathy Stockdale of Hardin County said that two proposed pipelines, Summit and Navigator are going to go through her land.
We are one of those lucky landowners along with three of our neighbors that have both pipelines proposed to our land. They will cross on our neighbors some of our farmers pass and go between our home and our family home.
Stockdale said the bill does not protect people’s rights to their land.
This year we have applies to me to Century farms. This land is a part of us. We have worked hard to make improvements to this land.
Richard McCain of Emmet County is a retired farmer. His grandfather first started farming on their land back in 1892.
When they come through, they're going to be on a tile line for the whole mile and a half. I have title surveys data to 1912. I rent the surface of my land with a tendency to make a profit every year. I also own the mineral rights under that land, but I'm supposed to let navigator transport their hazardous product through on a one-time payment forever?
Kim Jones of Grundy followed up by saying pipelines companies should have spent more time seeing how many Iowans even want to have the project on their land before sinking any money into it.
I want you to have to imagine for a minute how you would feel if you had sunk hundreds of thousands of dollars and years of your life into a business and likely only to find out one day that some wealthy investor had a scheme to bulldoze through a chunk of your business for their own private gain,
According to Iowa Capitol Dispatch, there are currently three proposed pipeline projects in Iowa that would lay nearly 2,000 miles of pipeline across the state to transport carbon emissions.