Des Moines, Iowa — The Iowa House has overwhelmingly voted to require at least 90 percent of miles along proposed carbon pipeline routes be voluntarily secured before the government’s eminent domain authority could be used to seize the rest.
It also would let farmers seek compensation years from now if crop yields are depressed in the area around a carbon pipeline. Representative Zach Dieken, a Republican from Granville, was a reluctant yes. He says the pipelines are a cash cow for developers and he praises landowners who’ve refused to sign voluntary easements with pipeline developers. Dieken acknowledged pipeline opponents watching debate in the House balcony.
Representative Steven Holt, a Republican from Denison, is the bill’s lead sponsor. He says the pipelines have generated intense debate around the state and he calls pipeline opponents “freedom fighters.”
Republican Representative Bobby Kaufmann of Wilton, a bill backer, is blasting pipeline developers and the ethanol industry who’ve been calling for the bill’s defeat.
Republican Representative Mark Cisneros of Muscatine has the same concerns — but voted against the bill. Cisneros calls eminent domain theft.
Representative Chuck Isenhar a Democrat from Dubuque, says if House members believe carbon pipelines have no public benefit, then the bill should have banned construction.
Dieken was elected in 2022 to represent Iowa House District 5, which includes all of O’Brien and Osceola counties, as well as portions of Cherokee and Buena Vista counties.