Proposed Oil Pipeline Raises Questions

Des Moines, Iowa — A Dallas, Texas based company proposing to build a crude oil pipeline that would cross 18 Iowa counties will file for a permit to build with the Iowa Utilities Board later this month. Energy Transfer Partners Senior Vice President Joey Mahmoud says the company has permission from 80 percent of landowners along the proposed route to survey. If the petition is approved, he says the company will seek eminent domain powers to survey the rest of the land.
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(as he says)“Is it reasonable to think we’ll have 100 percent voluntary easements, probably not. In those rare cases, we’ll have to rely on the power of eminent domain if we’re able to secure it from the I-U-B,” Mahmoud says.

Iowans have spoken out in favor of and against the project so far in public information sessions held in the state. Opinions also vary outside the state. A Michigan State geoscientist is warning about a possible oil spill from the proposed pipeline, which Energy Transfer Partners says they intend to bury between three to four feet deep across Iowa farm fields. Geoscientist Bruno Basso says that’s not deep enough.

(as he says) “Three feet will not even be close to be safe for crop production. Roots will reach at least three to five feet, especially in those good Iowa soils. I mean, long story short, crops cannot grow if there is an oil spill,” Basso says.

Basso and Mahmoud made their comments on a recent broadcast of the Iowa Public Radio “River to River” program.

The proposed pipeline is expected to run through our area from northwest to southeast in Lyon, Sioux, and O’Brien Counties, as well as 15 more, on its way to a refinery.

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