SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — Carbon pipeline projects continue to make progress in Siouxland, but local legislators might slow those plans down.
The Iowa Legislature is discussing bills which would increase the permission and transparency that pipeline companies need in order to receive eminent domain for their projects.
Senator Jeff Taylor introduced five bills into the Iowa Senate related to pipeline activity.
One of these bills, Senate File 101, would stop the Iowa Board of Utilities from awarding eminent domain to companies who wish to create a hazardous liquid pipeline. Taylor said eminent domain should only be for public use.
“Regardless of the reasons that landowners don’t want pipelines to go through their land, they should have a right to say no,” he said.
Senator Kevin Alons said he shares Taylor’s concerns about eminent domain being used.
“I question some of the underlying science and rational for it,” Alons said. “Obviously it’s like so many energy initiatives. It’s really… they’re trying to force it to be a viable and required discussion.”
Alons said these projects don’t provide any economic benefit to the state of Iowa with the exception that local ethanol companies would be able to use these pipelines.
Nick Bowdish is the president and CEO of Siouxland Ethanol which produces 95 million gallons of ethanol each year.
“Wherever you have corn and soybeans grown in the Midwest, what we expect is that the very highest local prices paid to farmers for corn and soybeans will ultimately happen in areas that have ethanol plants or renewable ag processing plants sequestering their carbon,” he said.
Jesse Harris is with Summit Carbon Solutions. He said the future of ethanol in Siouxland depends on if companies can store their CO2 in pipelines.
“Without that, it’s going to be hard to maintain a viable ethanol industry and keep in mind too here in Iowa, ethanol purchases about 60 percent of all the corn that’s grown in the state,” Harris said. “So, we need to maintain a strong ethanol industry to make sure that our land values remain strong and our commodity prices stay strong.”