A new bill has been proposed that would make it more difficult for private companies to use eminent domain for projects such as carbon sequestration pipelines.

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Representative Steve Holt, a Denison Republican released a plan on Thursday, February 16th, that he says would be a compromise.

There have been a lot of disagreements around the pipelines. Landowners have raised their opposition to private companies trying to force access to their land. On the other side, ethanol producers believe these projects would protect Iowa’s ethanol industry.

If the law is passed, pipeline developers would need to get voluntary access to 90 percent of the pipeline route before eminent domain could be used for the rest. On top of that, the Iowa Utilities Board could not issue permeants until the federal government issues new safety guidelines and neighboring states grant developers permits for the pipeline.

All of these things, again, are designed to provide some protections for our property owners that are going through this situation. Some of them do not want the pipeline to come through their property.

Holt adds that the bill also expands damages that can be compensated for.

 The bill expands on damages that can be compensated for...This includes soil compaction, damage to soil or water conservation structures, and damage to irrigation or drainage systems. The bill further expands the claims a landowner can bring to include any identifiable loss due to pipeline activity and then finally it allows that a landowner may file a claim of relief in either small claims or district court.

Governor Kim Reynolds told reporters Thursday that she will “have a conversation” with the House Republicans that have proposed the bill.

I’m sure there are areas where we could tweak and make it better.

She adds that the need to make sure the state is supporting adding value to agricultural products.

 When 55% of our farmers’ corn goes to ethanol and renewable fuels, I need to make sure that’s part of the conversation that we’re having,

The first bill funnel deadline is March 3. This means a bill like this would need to be approved by a House or Senate committee to be eligible for debate.

This isn't the first time a bill has been proposed to stop eminent domain usage for pipelines. Read more about the 2022 bill proposal here. 

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