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Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Senators on subcommittee shelve bill on pipeline development

Republican senators had planned to advance a bill that would set some new rules for building carbon pipelines, but after hearing opposition the bill has been permanently shelved. Republican Senator Mike Klemish of Spillville says he came into Monday's subcommittee hearing with a plan, but after supporters AND opponents of carbon capture pipelines testified, that plan went out the window.


"I've never had a bill that absolutely nobody liked," Klimesh said, to laughter.


Cynthia Hansen is a landowner from Shelby County who does not want a carbon pipeline on her property. She's urging lawmakers to ban the use of eminent domain for the projects, so developers do not have the power to seize property from unwilling landowners.


"Iowa legislators have been quick to enact laws that protect the rights of citizens to own their firearms...but where are the legislators when landowners have been asked for the last two sessions, excuse me," Hansen said, breaking down before continuing, "for protection to defend the rights of our land?"


Radio Iowa reports the bill would have required future pipelines -- including those carrying natural gas or other fuels -- to get permission from at least two-thirds of landowners along the pipeline route before a developer could seek authority from the state to seize the rest. Senator Jason Schultz, a Republican from Schleswig, had planned to propose that the bill instead say that carbon pipeline construction would be on hold until federal safety rules are in place and all states along the pipeline route have issued construction permits. Schultz tabled those ideas after hearing from landowners who are resisting the pipelines.


"I think they're telling us they don't want us to go forward, even if we have motives that might be friendly," Schultz says.


Sometime this week a House committee is expected to consider a bill to establish some new rules for the three proposed carbon capture pipelines, so it's possible senators may eventually revisit the issue.

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