Senate Will Not Act on House Approved Pipeline Bill

by Brian Wilson
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A bill that would have set a few new ground rules for carbon pipelines has stalled in the Senate. Representative Steven Holt, a Republican from Denison, led debate of the bill in the House, where it passed on a 73-to-20 vote.

The bill would have required that 90 percent of a carbon pipeline’s route be secured through voluntary agreements before eminent domain authority from the state could be used to compel other landowners to sign easements.

Thursday was the last day of the legislature’s work week and also the deadline for policy bills from the House to have cleared a Senate committee. Senate Democratic Leader Zach Wahls (like “walls”) of Coralville says Republicans who control the senate’s debate agenda could have at least scheduled a subcommittee hearing on the bill.

It’s possible some of the elements of the bill could be tacked onto a budget bill next month. There’s also a chance state regulators’ review of the pipeline projects might extend into early 2024. Holt says that means it might be possible for next year’s legislature to revisit the issue.

The proposed Wolf pipeline to capture carbon from A-D-M plants is about 300 miles long and the developer says it’s getting voluntary access to the route and will not need to seek eminent domain authority. The other pipeline developers are expected to ask the Iowa Utilities Board for eminent domain authority to secure easements from landowners who haven’t voluntarily granted access to their properties. Navigator’s pipeline would stretch about 800 miles through 33 Iowa counties. The Summit Carbon Solutions pipeline would be about 680 miles long and pass through 29 counties. Advocates say the pipelines will make ethanol a low-carbon fuel by capturing and shipping carbon from Iowa ethanol plants to underground storage sites in Illinois and North Dakota. Both the Navigator and Summit Pipelines would run through Kossuth County in constructed.

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