Landowners Outraged at Iowa Utilities Board’s August Scheduling of Summit CO2 Pipeline Hearing; Attorneys, Landowners, Iowa State Representatives Share Concerns
Speakers: Dan Wahl (impacted Iowa landowner); Anna Ryon (former attorney, Iowa Office of Consumer Advocate); Iowa Representative Helena Hayes, Jessica Mazour (Iowa Sierra Club)
Des Moines — Impacted Iowa landowners, State Representatives and a former attorney from the Office of Consumer Advocate will hosted a video telepresser via Zoom on Tuesday, June 20, to discuss the Iowa Utilities Board’s order on Friday that hearings for the proposed Summit Carbon Solutions permit application, including testimony from hundreds of impacted landowners, is scheduled to begin on August 22, 2023. Speakers addressed the many reasons why the Iowa Utilities Board should not fast-track the Summit hearings. Speakers on the call included: Dan Wahl, an impacted Iowa landowner on proposed Summit route; Anna Ryon, former attorney, Iowa Office of Consumer Advocate; Helena Hayes, Iowa State Representative; and Jessica Mazour, Iowa Sierra Club.
Quotes from impacted Iowa landowners:
“Summit, Governor Reynolds and the IUB care nothing about the safety of landowners or our private property rights . If they did, they would not be fast-tracking this process before the new PHSMA regulations or even allow them to be considered at all,” said Kathy Stockdale, Hardin County landowner impacted by the proposed Summit project.
“As a rural resident impacted by the hazardous carbon pipelines, I wholeheartedly implore individuals to unite their voices and take immediate action by contacting their authorities, including the Iowa Utilities Board. The urgent request is to replace the fast-track schedule for construction of these pipelines with a vital moratorium, so crucial issues for the protection of community interests and the preservation of lives may be addressed. This will require swift, collective effort. Please help!” said Janet Miller, Hardin County ag landowner impacted by the proposed Summit project.
“Summit once again got its way by the Iowa Utility Board fast tracking the schedule; only goes to show that landowners are NOT being listened to and the only reason to fast track is so wealthy Summit/Rastetter can get construction done and collect the 45Q tax credits sooner (of which ALL taxpayers are paying for) before PHMSA has the opportunity to set new and strong regulations for the hazardous CO2 which is for the safety and protection of those on the route. A moratorium is needed and not fast tracking, so that outstanding lawsuits brought on by Summit be heard and ruled on,” said Barb Schomaker, Clay County landowner impacted by the proposed Summit project
“We know that CO2 depletes oxygen, is heavier than air, and sinks to the lowest levels. My town has a river bisecting it. Summit’s pipeline, proposed to parallel the entire northern border of the community, would cross that riverbed only 1/4 mile away. The town of Rockford could be Iowa’s Satartia. This is frightening,” said Kathy Carter, Floyd County landowner impacted by the proposed Summit project.
“No eminent domain for private enterprises!! And the Reynolds/Rastetter/Branstad conspiracy plots against Iowa landowners to gain billions…with Reynolds even loading up the IUB. If this is such a great deal….what’s the hurry? Shame,” said Joan Peterson, Franklin County landowner impacted by the proposed Summit project.
“Governor Reynolds and the IUB are twisting themselves into a pretzel in order to fast-track a permit in favor of Summit with company-paid easement mediators, earlier landowner testimony, and disregard for calls to wait for updated PHMSA safety regulations,” said Bonnie Ewoldt, Crawford County landowner impacted by the proposed Summit project.
“Why is the IUB fast tracking the schedule? It almost appears as if Summit is in control and not the IUB. If anyone paid attention at all to the information shared at the PHMSA conference recently held in Des Moines, it should be apparent that nothing should move forward until PHMSA finishes writing the new regulations for hazardous carbon pipelines!” said Patricia Schmidt, Clinton County landowner impacted by the proposed Wolf/ADM project.
Despite pleadings from landowners, attorneys, and advocates that much more time was needed — to avoid crucial harvest time, and adequately hear from the landowners of more than 1,000 parcels who are challenging eminent domain seizure of their land for a proposed carbon dioxide pipeline, the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) late Friday released an order setting an August start date for the public hearings and intervenor process to hear Summit Carbon Solutions’ application for a permit that would authorize the company to use eminent domain to build the pipeline.
Many landowners in Iowa who are fighting eminent domain seizure of their property for these proposed projects are represented by attorney Brian Jorde, with Omaha-based Domina Law Group, and Iowa Easement Team (https://IAeasement.org) and Easement Action Teams LLC (https://easementllc.org). More details on eminent domain and CO2 pipelines: https://pipelinefighters.org.