Boone, Iowa — Hundreds of people packed a room at the Boone County Fairgrounds Thursday to speak and to listen to comments at a public hearing granting a construction permit for the Baaken oil pipeline. That pipeline, if built, would pass through portions of Lyon, Sioux and O’Brien counties here in northwest Iowa.
The Iowa Utilities Board has more than 200 people signed up to testify. They are alternating between those for the project and those against. Jonas Magram of Fairfield spoke against the pipeline.
Magram says the pipeline will bring many problems.
He criticized the Utilities Board for alternating the hearing between those who are for and against the pipeline, saying it gives the idea that the support is equal.
Mike Matejka of Des Moines spoke in favor of the pipeline.
He says the work the project will provide is important.
Matejka countered the statements that the pipeline will do a lot of damage.
Each speaker was allowed two minutes of testimony, which were often followed by cheers and clapping on both sides of the issue. Some of the speakers went silent as the microphone was turned off when they hit the time limit. The I-U-B is not taking any action at the hearing, and will consider the comments along with others it has received on the subject to make a decision later this year.