DMR: Iowa House passes new limits on when carbon pipeline companies could use eminent domain
Carbon capture pipeline companies would need to reach voluntary deals to buy 90% of the land on their route before they could seek to use eminent domain, under a bill passed Wednesday by the Iowa House.
The bill's House passage is a big step forward for opponents of the pipelines, who are worried they could be forced to sell their land to the companies if the state grants them eminent domain powers.
House lawmakers amended the legislation Wednesday to remove a number of restrictions on pipeline companies, angering opponents who wanted stronger action.
The measure now faces an uphill climb in the Iowa Senate, where a range of bills seeking to restrict eminent domain failed to clear a legislative deadline earlier this month. Most of those bills did not receive hearings.
The bill's floor manager, Rep. Steven Holt, R-Denison, said the legislation is about protecting Iowans' private property rights.
"Regardless of the economic gain or the benefit to certain industries or groups of people, this fundamental liberty must not be for sale," Holt said in his closing comments. "If these pipeline projects are essential to ethanol and agriculture, let them be built through voluntary easements and not by allowing the blunt force of government to be used to shatter this fundamental birthright we all share as Americans."