(The Center Square) – Carbon capture and sequestration pipeline opponents are still working to stymie implementation of the Summit Carbon Solutions project in Iowa.
The Progressive Caucus of the Iowa Democratic Party passed a resolution in a 36-1 vote on Sunday to express disapproval for the development and construction of the Summit Carbon Solutions pipeline.
The resolution said carbon capture and sequestration is currently unproven technology, asserts increases in jobs will be minimal, and poses safety risks.
“Private property rights trump the covetousness of the ultra-wealthy and eminent domain should not be used solely for the profit of private corporation,” it also said.
Iowa Democratic Party Progressive Caucus Chair Brian McLain said in a statement he sent The Center Square that rural Republicans, rural Democrats, and Libertarians are reaching out to support this resolution. The Iowa Democratic Party Disability Caucus said in a tweet Feb. 26 that it stands with the Progressive Caucus against the pipeline. The resolution follows the Iowa Democratic Party’s 21-17 vote Feb. 26 opposing taking up the resolution.
“We are calling on the 21 members of the State Central Committee that voted no to stand with the people of Iowa,” McLain said. “We are calling on Senate minority leader Zach Wahls and House Minority Leader Jennifer Konfrst to openly condemn this pipeline and work with the Republicans in their chambers that seek to protect landowners from corporations seeking to abuse eminent domain.”
McLain said Republicans and Democrats have been supporting corporate interests to the detriment of Iowa residents.
“This pipeline will destroy rural Iowa communities. It will harm population growth, property values, and farmers,” he said. “Coupled with the incorrectly named ‘school choice’ efforts, it will lead to even more school consolidations and that means even fewer young families moving to these towns.”
SF 2160, a bill State Senator Jeff Taylor, R-Sioux Center, introduced, would have banned private companies’ use of eminent domain. It died in the Commerce Committee in February, despite the senators advancing it in a February 15 meeting, Iowa Public Radio reported.
Under the bill, the Iowa Utilities Board would not grant a permit unless it decided that the services will promote public convenience and necessity. Pipeline companies would have had to pay an annual fee of $1 (instead of 50 cents) per mile of pipeline or fraction per inch of diameter of pipeline in the state if the board entered into an agreement with the U.S. Department of Transportation for inspection of pipelines to determine compliance.
Summit Carbon Solutions lobbyist Jeff Boeyink said in the February 15 subcommittee meeting that the bill would stop the pipeline, Iowa Public Radio reported.
Boeyink was a chief of staff and campaign manager for former Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad and a campaign advisor for Iowa political and business leaders. He also previously served as an executive director of the Republican Party of Iowa.
Gov. Kim Reynolds’ Communications Director Alex Murphy told The Center Square that Reynolds has not had any conversations with legislators pertaining to SF 2160.
“The Governor does not comment on bills that are not her own until they are in final form and arrive at her desk,” Murphy said.