Legislators Express Concern over Eminent Domain Request from Summit

by Brian Wilson
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An Iowa lawmaker is suggesting the Iowa Utilities Board lacks the authority to grant Summit Carbon Solutions permission to seize property along its proposed pipeline route from unwilling landowners. Republican Representative Steven Holt of Denison says eminent domain authority is reserved for projects that have a clear public use and public benefit.

Holt, who is chairman of the Iowa House Judiciary Committee, says he’s not opposed to pipeline projects that developers argue would benefit farmers by making corn-based ethanol carbon neutral.

Holt was one of two Republican lawmakers who testified Tuesday at the Iowa Utilities Board hearing reviewing Summit’s application for a permit to build and maintain a carbon pipeline in Iowa. Senator Sandy Salmon, a Republican from Janesville, says Summit’s request to seize about a third of its route across Iowa is breathtaking.

Salmon says private property rights are essential for prosperity and must be preserved.

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