Cherokee, Iowa — A group of Iowa landowners is suing the Iowa Utilities Board, saying it’s an effort to protect their property from the Dakota Access pipeline, which aims to carry crude oil from North Dakota’s Bakken oil fields, through South Dakota, Iowa and into south-central Illinois. They claim that agents from the proposed Dakota Access pipeline have told them if they don’t agree to easements that allow the pipeline onto their property, they will have their land seized by the state of Iowa. Attorney Bill Hanigan says the state’s utilities board has no authority to grant eminent domain to Dakota Access, because the pipeline doesn’t provide services in the state.
“Dakota Access however delivers nothing to Iowans and it receives nothing from Iowans. Furthermore crude oil is not even consumable by anyone until further refined. And Iowa has not crude oil refineries,” Hanigan says. Landowners also say the pipeline will harm agricultural production because it will cause excessive heat and water. Boone County farm owner, Dick Lamb, says he does not want to allow the Dakota Access pipeline onto his property, and says he’s being threatened by agents of the company.
“The buyers have said if you don’t settle with us, you’re going to have to face eminent domain. And that is going to be a terrible situation that you don’t want to go through,” Lamb says. “So yes, I would say I feel threatened.” Texas-based Energy Transfer — the parent company behind Dakota Access — and the Iowa Utilities Board both say they do not comment on pending litigation. The pipeline company says it has obtained easement agreements on more than 61 percent of the tracts along the proposed route in Iowa.
The lawsuit was filed this week in Cherokee County District Court.