Summit Carbon Solutions wants the right to take the land of thousands of Iowans by eminent domain to “help stop climate change.” They want to build 700 miles of pipeline by taking somewhere between 4,242 to 8,500 acres of land to move liquid carbon from 12 ethanol plants in Iowa to North Dakota where they will put it deep in the ground to “keep us all safe.” Well, unless the pipeline leaks, which may asphyxiate a few Iowans, but it is a risk Summit is willing to take.
How are they going to pay for this venture that has no sale of an end product? They aren’t going to. We will pay for it because the federal government is going to give them enough tax credits to make it worth their while. Tax credits basically is the taxes they do not have to pay — but you do. What is it called when the government takes money from some of the people and gives it to other people for something the free market would never support? That is Socialism.
The best way to fight this pipeline is to not sign a voluntary easement. If you have signed one, you have seven days to change your mind.
Between 2013-16, we and many other landowners across Iowa and Illinois fought the Rock Island Clean Line. The company needed 1,540 easements in Iowa. By Nov. 10, 2015, they said they had 194 easements, but somehow by Dec. 5 they only had 177. They never received any more easements. Iowans filed 1,332 objections at the Iowa Utilities Board. Almost no easements were signed in Illinois.
This is how we stopped the Rock Island Clean Line. Eminent domain is an expensive, time-consuming process for companies seeking to take land. They love to threaten eminent domain, but your rights will likely be better protected by eminent domain than the rights the company will confine you to in an easement contract. They will tell you that you will receive more money if you sign their contract, but they have no control over the eminent domain process.
Bottom line, do not sign a voluntary easement, and file an objection. It is simple. Go to the Iowa Utilities Board website. Click on “File a Comment or Objection on an Open Docket,” enter your personal information, click on Docket HLP-2021-0001 Summit Carbon Solutions and write your comment. The IUB will make their decision based partly on those comments, not what was said at meetings.
We must engage in the process until we can wrestle our rights back from the cold grip of an out-of-control government.
Paul and Janna Swanson
Clay County, Iowa