FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 16, 2022
Contact: Christina Dexter, (816)738-5402
Iowa Farmers Union Opposes CO2 Pipeline Use of Eminent Domain
Nevada, IA – The Iowa Farmers Union, a grassroots organization fighting for family farmers, rural communities, and sustainable agriculture for more than 100 years, opposes the use of eminent domain to facilitate any of the three carbon dioxide pipelines proposed to cross Iowa.
The Iowa Farmers Union membership is on record supporting biofuels as a first step to a more climate-friendly transportation system. It is important to acknowledge that several aspects of biofuels production mean they are not a long-term solution, not the least of which is their carbon footprints. However, pipelines and deep earth burial are not the only or best solution (but will only perpetuate an unsustainable system). New technologies for carbon capture and removal are being developed literally on a daily basis. Most of these make the carbon or CO2 reusable for other purposes and require much less energy. Most importantly, there are viable solutions that do not require transporting a dangerous product through pipelines.
This country is built on the supremacy of property rights, which can only be abridged for uses deemed to provide significant public benefit. These pipelines are being built by outside interests and financiers who hope to exploit tax benefits for their personal gain (which will also leave Iowa). Their claims of providing public benefit fail to rise to the level to justify the use of eminent domain. If pipeline developers are unable to negotiate satisfactory agreements with landowners in their respective paths, they should abandon these projects.
The track record of other pipelines in Iowa has shown that instead of providing public good, they cost farmers millions in lost revenue; construction cause long-term damage to soil health; drainage system disruptions are often ongoing; crop yields suffer long term; and property values are lowered. In addition, these pipelines will carry an extremely deadly compound that poses imminent danger if it leaks for all life, plus creating very serious danger for emergency personnel.
Because there is almost no public benefit and because the right to secure our property is so important, the Iowa Farmers Union is asking the Iowa Utilities Board to deny the use of eminent domain for these pipelines.